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ICC Note:

As each day passes with still no progress in locating and releasing the more than 240 girls (90% of whom are reportedly Christian) abducted from a secondary school in the predominantly Christian town of Chibok on April 14 by Boko Haram militants, the likelihood the Islamic insurgency will carry out it’s leader’s pledge to sell the girls “on the marketplace.” In a video released Monday, Boko Haram leader and spokesman Abubakar Shekau both took responsibility for the abduction and relayed his intention to follow out Allah’s “instruction” that he sell the girls into domestic and sexual servitudes, including forced marriages, in some cases to their very captors. In a statement released Monday as well, U.N. Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights commented on the situation, threatening criminal retributions to all involved in the kidnapping, regardless of the Nigerian state’s current inability to apprehend and turn over perpetrators to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has declared the trafficking of the abducted a crime against humanity.

05/09/2014 Geneva, Switzerland (VOA) – The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says the reported intention by Boko Haram to sell abducted girls as slaves could constitute a crime against humanity. The militant group reportedly has kidnapped eight more girls in northeastern Nigeria. This follows last month’s abduction of more than 300 schoolgirls.

The U.N. Human Rights office is condemning the outrageous claims made in a video by the alleged leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria Monday. In that video, he referred to the abducted girls as slaves and said he would sell them in the market and marry them off.

U.N. Human Rights Commission spokesman Rupert Colville said Tuesday the members of this militant Islamic group will pay a price for their crimes. He said there is an absolute prohibition against slavery and sexual slavery in international law. And under certain circumstances, he said, these can constitute crimes against humanity.

“There is no statute of limitations for very serious international crimes, especially crimes against humanity … Slavery, sexual slavery under international law can be considered as crimes against humanity. That means anyone responsible can be arrested and charged and prosecuted and jailed at any time in the future. So, just because they think they are safe now, they will not necessarily be in two years, five years, 10 years’ time,” said Colville.

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