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Testimony at the UN

UN Watch Statement
Human Rights Council, 30th session
Item 10 General Debate
1 October 2015

Delivered by Sarah Reibman

Thank you, Mr. President,

UN Watch is deeply concerned by the human rights abuses committed by Boko Haram and the Islamic State throughout West Africa and the Middle East, as documented by two reports before us.

Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist terrorist group is most known for kidnapping schoolgirls, of whom many have never been found. In addition, they enlist young girls, whom they radicalize, in order to commit suicidal terrorist attacks. For example, in August of this year one 14 year-old girl killed herself and 5 others, wounding 41 in a crowded bus station in Damaturu, Nigeria. In Yobe State, Nigeria, June of this year, a 12-year-old girl killed 10 people in an open market. Other suicide attacks have taken place in mosques and colleges.

Boko Haram has further aligned itself with the mission and ideology of the Islamic State. In Iraq, “honor” remains a permissible defence for violence against women allowing fatalities of many hundreds of women by “honor killings” every year. ISIS has imposed strict regulations on women wherein they must be fully covered and accompanied by a man in public, yet girls and women are still targeted for sexual violence and sexual slavery.

Girls younger than 15 and 16 are taken from their home and separated from their sisters and mothers before they are raped and sold as wives, naked, in open air markets, reminiscent of the darkest ages of humanity. Many of these girls come from the Yazidi and Christian minorities, which require the urgent protection of the international community.
We urge the Human Rights Council to condemn these horrific atrocities and to protect the innocent victims of Boko Haram and ISIS, many of whom are now knocking on Europe’s door for protection. These abuses against women and girls shock the conscience of humankind. It is unacceptable that they are so prevalent in our world today.

Thank you Mr. President.

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