Deborah Samuel, the 200 Level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, who was mobbed to death by Muslim extremists over alleged blasphemy, has been honoured by the United States Department of State.
Deborah was murdered in May this year by her colleagues who stoned her to death and set her body ablaze after being threatened following her post on her class’ WhatsApp group.
About three months after her brutal death, the Office of International Religious Freedom of the US Department of State honoured Deborah and also uploaded her picture on its website.
The Office of International Religious Freedom “promotes universal respect for freedom of religion or belief for all as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy”.
“We monitor religiously motivated abuses, harassment, and discrimination worldwide, and recommend, develop, and implement policies and programs to address these concerns,” it says on the website.
The honour was bestowed on Deborah in commemoration of the International Day for ‘Victims of Violence Based on Religion or Belief’.
The Office wrote on the website, “International Day Commemorating Victims of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
“In May, a mob brutally stoned, flogged, and burned to death college student Deborah Samuel in Nigeria, in an attack fueled by hatred and blasphemy allegations, even as authorities attempted to stop it. We honor her life as we continue the work to end such vicious violence.”