Megastars Beyoncé and Rihanna both took to social media on Tuesday to lend their voices to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in Nigeria as the night descended into violence.
Eyewitnesses claim that security forces had opened fire on peaceful protestors, killing several demonstrators who took to the streets to rally against the country’s sweeping police brutality.
“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,” Beyoncé wrote. “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.”
Rihanna also weighed in, writing, “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.”
On Wednesday, Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu denied there were any fatalities recorded after the shooting in the Lagos suburb of Lekki. Images on social media contradict his claims.
Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization, focused on human rights, also disputes Sanwo-Olu’s claims:
“Amnesty International has received credible but disturbing evidence of excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos,” the organization tweeted. “While we continue to investigate the killings, Amnesty International wishes to remind the authorities that under international law, security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force when strictly unavoidable to protect against imminent threat of death or serious injury.”
ShineMyCrown stands with Nigeria. #EndSARS