The United States Government has honoured late Deborah Samuel, the 2nd year student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education (SSCOE), Sokoto, who was murdered by religious fanatics on May 12, 2022, NjenjeMediaNews reports.
Deborah met her death as she stoned on campus by some Islamic extremists for blasphemy, an incident which sparked outrage among many Nigerians.
The US Office of Religious Freedom, a department saddled with the responsibility of promoting universal respect for freedom of religion or belief, had Deborah’s picture uploaded on its website, as it marks the fourth US International Day Commemorating the Victims of Violence Based on Religion or Belief on August 22.
“In May, a mob brutally stoned, flogged and burnt to death college student, Deborah Samuel, in Nigeria, in an attack fuelled by hatred and blasphemy allegations, even as authorities attempted to stop it,” the office stated on its website.
“We honour her life as we continue the work to end such vicious violence.”
The US Ambassador-at-Large, Rashad Hussain, who heads the office, In a series of tweets on Tuesday, stated that too many people around the world who face violence based on their religion or belief are not heard because oppression keeps them hidden from view or it is too dangerous for their names to be shared.
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken on his part also stated that the failure to protect the right to freedom of religion or belief threatens the enjoyment of this right by all.
“Religious freedom is a key element of an open and stable society. Without it, people aren’t able to make their fullest contribution to their country’s success,” Blinken noted
“Whenever human rights are denied, it ignites tension and breeds division.”