A disturbing new video released overnight by militant Islamic group Boko Haram and secured by AFP purports to show around half of the nearly three hundred Nigerian schoolgirls who were abhorrently kidnapped while asleep in their dorm last month in Chibok.
It’s the first time the girls have been sighted since their disappearance on April 14th, an unconscionable event which has been met with every conceivable response ranging from international condemnation, to criticism at the almost indifferent Nigerian government’s passivity, to widespread social media activism using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirl.
Appearing in the video, the terrorist group’s leader Abubakar Shekau says that the girls – who he believes have been ‘liberated’ by being converted to Islam – will be held captive until his fellow imprisoned militants had been released by Nigerian authorities. In between a to-camera address from Shekau, approximately one hundred and thirty of the missing girls recite ‘Al-Fatiha’, the first chapter of the Quran in Arabic. Three of the girls are also interviewed on camera; two reportedly say they were Christians who have been converted to Islam, while another describes herself as Muslim; a further also says the girls have not been physically harmed.
AFP are also reporting that Nigerian Interior Minister Abba Moro has today rejected the release conditions set forth by Shekau in the video – a sentiment echoed by one of the unnamed fathers of the kidnapped, who has said that he would rather let his child die than have her convert to Islam or be exchanged for detained Boko Haram prisoners lest a prisoner swap incite further abductions.