UK MP David Linden Appeals to Prime Minister Theresa May About Release of Captive Christian Schoolgirl Leah Sharibu

Marking International Women’s Day (March 8), a British MP appealed to the Prime Minister to prioritize the release of a captive Nigerian schoolgirl.

In a letter marking International Women’s Day on March 8, David Linden MP has written to Prime Minister Theresa May, asking her “to make every effort to pressure the Nigerian Government” to prioritise the release of Leah Sharibu and other female captives held by terrorists in the north east of the country.

Leah Sharibu was one of 110 girls kidnapped from their school in Dapchi, Yobe state, by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group, on 19 February 2018. While the Nigerian government negotiated the release of her surviving classmates, Leah, the only Christian, was denied freedom for refusing to convert.

Last month Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) organised a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission in London to mark one year since Ms Sharibu’s abduction, and called for renewed efforts on the part of the Nigerian Government to secure her freedom.

In his letter, Mr Linden writes: “The Nigerian Government has a clear constitutional obligation to ensure that every citizen is ‘protected irrespective of his/her gender, culture and religious belief.’ However in this instance, a minor was not only left in the hands of terrorists on account of her religious beliefs when her surviving colleagues were released; she also continues to suffer multiple and severe violations… It is a terrible indictment of the Nigerian Government’s failure to assist a vulnerable citizen, and of an international community that has not held it sufficiently to account for this.”

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SOURCE: Assist News, Michael Ireland