Popcaan send prayers to Nigerian fans as they protest police brutality

Dancehall artiste Popcaan has joined the growing list of celebrities sending their support to Nigerians as they protest police brutality.

Taking to his Instagram, the Family artiste said he’s praying for the protestors.

“To all my fans in Nigeria, I just want all of you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this tough time. Keep the faith and stay strong,” he wrote.

For days, cities across Nigeria have erupted in protests against a police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

SARS is accused of kidnapping, harassing, and extorting Nigerian youth.

The BBC reports that rights group Amnesty documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment, and extra-judicial execution between January 2017 and May this year by SARS.

Rivers States' Wike bans #EndSARS protests in Rivers StateNigeria — The  Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
Protestors say SARS is notorious for human rights abuses (Photo: The Guardian Nigeria)

The victims were mainly men aged between 18 and 35 from poor backgrounds and vulnerable groups. Many of those tortured were beaten with sticks and machetes and denied medical attention, according to Amnesty.

The “systemic use of torture… points to an absolute disregard for international human rights laws and standards”, Amnesty said.

Footage of officers pulling two men out of a hotel in Lagos into the street and shooting one of them sparked the latest rounds of protests.

The footage was leaked to the media, evoked outrage, and led many to share stories of brutality attributed to the unit.

We need justice': Nigerians to keep up #EndSARS pressure | Nigeria | Al  Jazeera
Nigerian youth are often the target of SARS (Photo: Aljazeera)

The hashtag #EndSARS has been trending globally and has seen celebrities taking to the streets to join the protests or showing their support online.

Celebrities including the Nigerian superstars Wizkid and Davido have taken to the streets

And Kanye West, Trey Songz, former professional footballer Rio Ferdinand and “Star Wars” actor John Boyega are among those showing support to protestors online.