Celebs

Angelina Jolie calls Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings an 'unthinkable cruelty'

May 8, 2014 at 11:31 AM ET

Angelina Jolie may be playing Disney villainess Maleficent in her new film, but it was the actress' humanitarian side that is speaking up while she travels to promote her new film.

Jolie addressed the kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in an interview with French news channel i-Tele, saying, "I'm absolutely sickened by it. And the thought of them out there right now, terrified and being abused, and sold ... it's infuriating, and it kind of goes beyond understanding that somebody could do this."

The subject also came up during a Tuesday press conference for "Maleficent" in Paris, when the star was asked whether she fights the fights that she does because of the evil that exists in the world.

"Sadly, there is of course real evil in the world, and you watch the news and you see all the people suffering, and so much cruelty, and it's unthinkable cruelty. Like those girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria. Unthinkable cruelty and evil," the actress said sadly. "I do think that it is something for all of us to really, in a heavy deep way, for all of us to understand why it's there."

Jolie, who is a UN special envoy for refugee issues, added that though terrible things happen in the world, films such as "Maleficent" have something bright to contribute.

"We try to make films like this that have something ... loving and something that had a good message and something positive because there is so much darkness, and our children deal with so much, and our world is full of so much pain and real darkness, real evil," said the mom of six.

Extremist Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the gunpoint kidnappings of the girls from their school in the village of Chibok. According to French news agency AFP, the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has threatened to "sell (the girls) in the market" into slavery.

"Not only do they believe that girls shouldn't have an education — which is absolutely wrong, it is appalling, it is of course their right and the most wonderful thing, the most important thing for young girls — but that they're taken as objects and going to be so violated and if the world does nothing then they get away this, then we set this horrible precedent," the actress also said during i-Tele interview.

The group, whose name roughly translates to "Western education is sinful," has waged a bloody, years-long campaign in northeast Nigeria. Boko Haram has destroyed churches, burned down schools with students locked inside, and kidnapped many. It is also believed that the group is behind an attack on a Nigerian market town this week that killed at least 300.

Many celebrities have spoken out to raise awareness of the kidnapped girls.

Image: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Jason Merritt
The two actors (and their growing family) travel the world for worthy causes.

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