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Press Release: Abduction of network members in Nigeria

Arise is shocked and saddened to hear about the abduction of four Catholic sisters in the South-East of Nigeria.

This morning (Monday 22 August), some devastating news was shared by our Nigeria team: on the morning of Sunday the 21st of August, gunmen abducted four Catholic sisters, whose congregation would like to remain anonymous for security reasons. The motivation is not yet known.

The congregation's sisters are an integral part of Arise’s growing anti-trafficking network in Nigeria, and the abduction of these sisters is the latest incident in a worryingly violent era for the region.

Arise calls for the safe return of the sisters, a commitment to justice on the part of Nigerian authorities, and, from the international community, a commitment to address faith-targeted trafficking and violence.

Globally, ethnic and religious minority groups are targeted and trafficked into forced marriage, forced labour and sexual exploitation. The time is long overdue for the human rights community to properly acknowledge this issue, and craft a more humane policy that allows help to be offered to those persecuted and exploited for their religious beliefs.

Today (22 August), the UN marks the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. It is our hope that we can continue to work together towards a more peaceful, safe world, and not grow desensitised to such violence.

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