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Feldman Shepherd Attorney Evan Liu Helping Victim of Boko Haram Kidnapping Apply for Asylum in the U.S.

November 18, 2019

When Feldman Shepherd attorney Evan Y. Liu, M.D., signed on for a training program to provide pro bono legal representation to migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., never did he expect to encounter a client with the indomitable spirit of Patience Bulus.

Bulus, at age 16, was among the 276 schoolgirls who were kidnapped on April 14, 2014, in Chibok, Nigeria, by Islamic militant group Boko Haram. The shocking incident drew international news coverage, a sharp outcry on social media, and even prompted then First Lady Michelle Obama to post an image of herself on Twitter posing with a white sheet of paper with the message: “#BringBackOurGirls.”

During the frantic chaos of the abduction, about 57 girls managed to escape. Bulus was one of them. Through a combination of bravery and luck, she re-claimed her freedom by jumping from a moving truck as she was being taken away. Somehow her captors did not see her as she was lying injured on the ground, in intense pain, as headlights flooded over her body.

After an arduous journey back to her hometown of Askira, Bulus reunited with her family and friends. They were unaware that she had escaped and were grieving when she arrived.

Thereafter, Bulus came to the United States to rebuild her life. She is presently studying at a special college preparatory program at Dickinson College, defying Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates to “Western education is a sin.” She is applying for admission to college in the U.S.

Bulus’ asylum petition is in progress.

Some 112 of Bulus’ classmates are still missing. About 107 of the schoolgirls were subsequently found or were released in 2018 pursuant to a deal between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege for me to be a part of the asylum process for this indomitable young woman, and to assist HIAS Pennsylvania, an illustrious organization with a nearly 140 year history of providing legal and supportive services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, in their efforts,” Liu said.

  • Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP attorneys are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. In addition, our attorneys practice in other states on a pro hac vice basis. Pro hac vice admission is when a lawyer not licensed in a particular state associates with a lawyer who is licensed in that state and obtains the court’s permission to jointly represent a client in a specific matter.