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Beyoncé, Rihanna lend their voice to #EndSARS protests following violence in Nigeria

Lagos is on a 24-hour curfew amid reports of fatalities during anti-police brutality marches in the Nigerian capital.

October 21, 2020
Beyoncé, Rihanna lend their voice to #EndSARS protests following violence in Nigeria PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty

Beyoncé is among a number of musicians and other public figures who have spoken out about the Nigerian government's treatment of people taking part in protests against police brutality in the country. Reports from Lagos on Tuesday suggested a number of protestors were shot dead when soldiers opened fire, with up to 12 deaths reported and Amnesty International claiming it had "credible reports" of fatalities.

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The army dismissed these reports as "fake news" while President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed for "understanding and calm." Lagos is currently under a 24 hour curfew amid the rising protests, which began earlier this month in response to the SARS police unit. SARS () was synonymous in the country with police brutality, and its abolition was the focus of a number of protests in recent weeks. However, protests continued with people keen to have their voice heard about broader problems with the police as well as demanding compensation for victims of police violence.

Writing about the reports of violence and disturbing images filling social media, Beyoncé wrote: "I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria. There has to be an end to SARS. We have been working on partnerships with youth organisations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food, and shelter. To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you. Please visit beyonce.com for a list of organisations to show your support."

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Rihanna, meanwhile, posted an image of a protestor holding a blood-stained Nigerian flag on her Instagram Stories and wrote: "I can’t bear to see this torture and brutalisation that is continuing to affect nations across our planet. ‘It is such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by. My heart is broken for Nigeria. It is unbearable to watch."

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Others to comment on the situation in the past 24 hours include Nicki Minaj, Star Wars actor John Boyega, Naomi Campbell, and more.

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💔💔💔!!! #endbadgovernance!!! 🇳🇬

A post shared by 🦅 (@wizkidayo) on




Beyoncé, Rihanna lend their voice to #EndSARS protests following violence in Nigeria