Congressman Al Green, Congressman Joaquin Castro Re-introduce #EndSARS Resolution for 117th Congress

Mar 16, 2021

(Washington, DC) – On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) and Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) released the following statement:           

“On the heels of a widespread movement in the United States demanding police reform after the brutal killing of George Floyd, I – along with much of the rest of the world – was heartbroken when a video surfaced on October 3, 2020, appearing to show the horrific killing and robbery of a Nigerian man by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officers. #EndSARS joined #BlackLivesMatter as a global rallying cry calling for justice.” Congressman Al Green added, “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. 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.”

Lead original co-sponsor, Congressman Joaquin Castro said, “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 extrajudicial executions of peaceful protestors, must be independently investigated and held accountable.”

The resolution is also cosponsored by Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alcee Hastings, Ayanna Pressley, Karen Bass, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve Cohen, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jim Cooper, Dina Titus, Danny Davis, and Jim McGovern.

It has been endorsed by the following human rights organizations: Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and PEN America.

Deputy Director of Advocacy and Government Relations Adotei Akwei of Amnesty International USA indicated, “Amnesty International USA welcomes the introduction of the #EndSARS resolution act by Representative Green of Texas. Rep. Green's consistent leadership and commitment to advancing human rights and ensuring police accountability in Nigeria compliment his efforts for similar objectives here in the United States and will also underscore that the US congress is watching and supporting the efforts of the ENDSARS movement to seek police reform and improved human rights in Nigeria.”

Ikechukwu Uzoma, Africa Staff Attorney at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, stated, “[This] resolution presents a unique opportunity for the US House of Representatives to unanimously condemn police brutality and impunity in Nigeria as well as sustain the campaign against racial injustice in the United States. The inspiring #EndSARS movement and its demands for justice, accountability, and meaningful police reform in Nigeria mirrors the call for equity in the United States’ criminal justice system and deserves congressional support. The passage of this resolution would send a clear message to US allies, including Nigeria, that human rights remain a cherished pillar of US bilateral relations. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is grateful to Congressmen Green and Castro for their leadership on this and urges the House of Representatives to pass [their] resolution.”

“Extending solidarity towards those who bravely exercise their right to free expression abroad, sometimes in the face of tremendous personal risk, can and should be a centerfold piece of American foreign policy,” said Dokhi Fassihian, Interim Washington Director of PEN America. "We strongly support action by the US Congress to respond to attacks on free expression and civic space in Nigeria and elsewhere, especially as we reconcile with the global onslaught against human rights we've seen accelerate this year. We commend Mr. Green and Mr. Castro for this effort, and hope other members will join in reaffirming respect for freedom of expression as a cornerstone of our nation's engagement with Nigeria.”