Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today condemning the kidnapping of nearly 300 teenage girls in Nigeria:
“I strongly condemn the recent kidnapping of nearly 300 teenage girls in Nigeria. Their abduction at the hands of extremists must not be met with silence or complacence on the part of the Nigerian government or the international community. As a father of three daughters, I find it shocking and appalling that in the twenty-first century teenage girls could be taken by force and forced into marriage or slavery.
“I am encouraged that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have already taken steps to warn the Nigerian government that inaction is unacceptable and have offered American assistance to rescue these girls and enable them to return safely to their families. Every nation that cherishes individual freedom, human rights, and the importance of education and opportunity for all children ought to be deeply concerned about Boko Haram’s actions. These courageous girls were simply following their dreams of attaining an education and participating in society, and we need to be mindful of the disempowering message that will be sent to other girls around the world if Boko Haram is allowed to silence and abuse their victims with impunity. I urge the Nigerian government to act – and act swiftly – to bring these girls home.”