BLM co-founder demands justice in Nigeria

An open letter published in the New York Times by celebrities, including activists like Greta Thunberg and a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, is directly addressed to Nigeria's president.

What they're demanding of Muhammadu Buhari is that he hold security personnel accountable for the alleged shooting of anti-police brutality protesters.

BLM co-founder Opal Tometi, an American with Nigerian parents, said she organized the letter after watching peaceful protests against a notorious police unit descend into violence.

"We've stood alongside the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and around the diaspora but we also care about what's happening on the continent of Africa and we care about the issues of police brutality no matter were they are occurring."

The letter, published on Thursday (December 10) to mark International Human Rights Day, comes nearly two months after an incident at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos in which witnesses and Amnesty International say security forces shot at peaceful protesters.

The military and police deny this.

Since that day protesters have outlined a campaign of harassment - and some still do not know what happened to their missing friends and family.

"The courageous people, who are really conscience of the nation, yet they are being targeted, they are being profiled and they are being treated as if they are the enemy of the state."

In addition to accountability, the letter asks the government to release jailed protesters, lift a ban on protests, and allow an independent human rights monitor to investigate the, quote, "actions that led to the killings at Lekki Toll Gate."

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad police unit, which was the focus of the initial protests, was disbanded in October and the government asked each state to form judicial panels to investigate claims of brutality.

Spokesmen for President Muhammadu Buhari did not immediately respond to a request for comment.