Two U.S congressmen, Al Green and Joaquin Castro, have declared the re-introduction of the #EndSARS resolution for the 117th Congress which they termed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.
This was disclosed on Tuesday in a statement issued by both congressmen who say their move to ensure passage of the act into law, is in solidarity with the peaceful #EndSARS protesters and the victims of police brutality in Nigeria.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed in a deadly arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while on October 2020, horrific acts of brutality by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), sparked historic nationwide demonstrations in Nigeria.
The protest which lasted for about two weeks was forcibly halted after soldiers, allegedly fired at peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on October, 20, 2020.
While many judicial panels set up in the aftermath of the protests have been largelyineffective, a few of them have intermittently awarded compensation to some petitioners but major indictment has not been secured against errant state forces.
In the statement, Congressman Al Green said: “As we continue to work toward this goal in the United States, awaiting the Senate passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, it is imperative that we maintain solidarity with peaceful protesters in Nigeria demanding justice, accountability, and meaningful security reform from their government.”
Al Green further added that: “This is in part why I and Congressman Joaquin Castro have re-introduced our resolution in support of the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria. We understand the importance of sending a strong message that the ongoing events in Nigeria are of international concern, because Black lives matter, wherever they may be in the world.”
On his part, Joaquin Castro, who is the lead original co-sponsor of the resolution stated: “Last year, Nigerians came together to protest police violence, and like here in the United States, are still demanding justice. I’m proud to co-lead this resolution as a statement of support for the people of Nigeria who are standing up against these injustices. As I said before, human rights abuses, including extra Judicial executions of peaceful protesters, must be independently investigated and held accountable.”
Apart from other representatives co-sponsoring the proposed resolution, the move has received strong backing from reputable global human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and PEN America.