Abike Dabiri-Erewa

In 2013, Egypt signed a law that banned all forms of protest unless with approval from the country’s police, which is rarely given. Eight Nigerians (four men and four women) have been in detention at Cairo for more than two weeks. They were picked up after storming the streets on October 18th, 2020 to identify with the #EndSARS protest against police brutality on-going in Nigeria at that time. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, on Monday said seven out of the Eight Nigerians arrested in Egypt will be deported to Nigeria for lack of resident permits while the one with residency permit will be released after getting final clearance from the Minister of Interior and signing an undertaking not to embark on any acts pernicious to the Egyptian laws while still in the country.

Abike said through her twitter handle: “Update on the 8 Nigerians detained in Cairo for protesting without a permit. 7 of them are to be deported to Nigeria for lack of resident permits. The only one that has residency will get final clearance from the Minister of Interior. They will be released after thorough investigations on why they flouted the laws of the land, check the status of their residence permits, and they will write an undertaking not to embark on any acts inimical to the Egyptian laws”. Abike further added that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) will keep a close watch on the situation and give appropriate update: “The Nigerian mission will continue to engage with the Egyptian authorities to see to the release of the Nigerian protesters, while NiDCOM will monitor the situation and give update. We stress again that the protesters were not arrested in the premises of the Nigerian mission. We look forward to their speedy release. After signing an undertaking not to go against laws of Egypt, the Nigerian mission in Egypt is still appealing for leniency on behalf of the seven slated for deportation.

Solidarity protests and demonstrations by Nigerians in diaspora and sympathizers of the mass protest against police brutality in Nigeria and the urgent need to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) occurred in many major cities of the World. Canada organized a peaceful demonstration in support of the #EndSARS movement on Monday, 12 October 2020. Germany joined the protest on Friday, October 23rd, 2020. Manchester did theirs on Saturday, 17 October 2020. New York, London, and Dublin organized their solidarity March on Sunday, 11 October 2020. Michigan and Egypt carried out their demonstration on the 18th of October 2020. Egypt is one of the few African countries where the solidarity March was carried out. The turn of events at the protest may have been due to the nature of the security challenge in the country. Nigerians have come out to say their deportation will be out of place, instead due process should be followed for them to obtain their residency permits after their release from detention.

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