The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria has joined in speaking out against the Police brutality, abuse and infringement of human rights, which has led to the #EndSARS and #EndSWAT protests across the country.
In a statement by Rhoda Prevail Tyoden, Country Vice President/National President, and Eliana Martins National Publicity Secretary, FIDA expressed shock that the Police have continued to attack, arrest and detain youths for protesting, and shooting live rounds at them.
The statement noted that citizens deserve respect from law enforcement officers who are commissioned to principally defend, protect and support the defenseless in society, not oppress, torture, dehumanise and kill them.
“We find that police inefficiency, unprofessionalism and brutality have become the new order of the day and this must stop.
“FIDA commends the strong, determined and courageous youths for their principles and stand against police brutality and for their perseverance and commitment to the cause despite the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector of General of Police.
“The protests have continued because the fundamental issues have not been properly addressed. They must be addressed!”
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The group of female lawyers then made some demands of the Federal Government:
- *Better training and re-training of the police, ensuring better personal development and professionalism
- *Re-evaluation and phycological analysis of members of the force including medical treatment for those needing same, even if it is in anger management and so forth
- *Comprehensive overhaul and reform of the police force and all her supporting structures
- *Better interaction and collaboration with relevant key stakeholders including community leaders/ influencers, ministries and parastatals to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the police force
- *Continuous sensitisation and enlightenment for all police officers on matters and skills, particularly relevant to their specialised tasks and assignments
- *Adequate and necessary equipment and facilities to support efficient work delivery and performance
- *Better welfare packages, including housing, regular appraisals, promotions including retirement benefits
- *Targeted training for specialised units of the police especially prosecutors, those on gender desks etc.
- *Better and Continuous Monitoring and evaluation of all members of the police and their units
- *Better Public Relations and Packaging for the force and her officers; upgrading all for better career development.
“FIDA Nigeria shouts out stop killing the youths and vulnerable people of Nigeria. Their lives matter!
“We commiserate with the families of those who have lost their loved ones and we demand a thorough independent investigation into all the pending cases on police abuse, brutality, and murder.
“All Officers found guilty must be brought to book, in the spirit of justice for all,” it added.