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Group Claims that They Will Keep Leah Sharibu and Other Christian as Slaves for Life

10/16/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group from northern Nigeria, released a video depicting the execution of Hauwa Leman, an aid worker with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This is the second captive who Boko Haram has killed recently, as they killed Saifura Khorsa on September 15. They said that they killed Hauwa and Saifura for being apostates.

In the video, they make Hauwa kneel down on the ground with her hands tied and wearing a hijab, before shooting her. In the video of Saifura, they said that if the government did not give in to their demands, they would kill Hauwa and two other captives, Leah Sharibu and Alice Ngaddah.

However, in the recently released video, Boko Haram claimed that they will “keep [Leah and Alice] as slaves.” They said that they are not allowed to kill “kafir,” or people who are not apostates, like they did with Hauwa and Saifura, but will instead keep them as their slaves.

ICC spoke with a close friend of the Sharibu family, who said, “On Friday, October 12, a federal government delegation…. visited the Sharibu family at Dapchi. This was the very first time any government official had visited the family since the abduction of Leah. This visit according to the Information Minister was a follow up from the recent phone call by the president to Rebecca, Leah’s mom. [It was meant] to reassure the family that the government is doing everything possible to ensure Leah is released soon, but they did not say how soon.”

She continued, “This visit devastated the family…. and all of us who were there, as we had hoped that they were bringing Leah. [This is because] the president just recently spoke to Rebecca with strong words of assurances of Leah’s soon release.”

The officials came to the family home with nearly 100 people, mostly security personnel, which made the family believe that they would be getting Leah back. They were devastated by the news that Boko Haram is not planning on returning Leah now, due to the government’s lack of response to this case.

Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We are deeply saddened by the news that Leah and Alice will not only be kept, but that they will be made into slaves to serve those who persecute them. This continued persecution by Boko Haram must be stopped, and the government must figure out a plan to help rescue these young women. Leah’s faith is truly amazing and we will continue to pray that she will be freed and return home safely.”

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]