Malawi's slow pace in dealing with attacks against people with albinism slammed

2017-04-20 12:00
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Blantyre – A rights group in Malawi has reportedly slammed the government's slow pace in prosecuting those who have been accused of persecuting and killing people who have albinism.

Aljazeera reported that according to the national co-ordinator for the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi, Boniface Massah, the government was only committed in words to the fight against the scourge of murders and attacks affecting people living with albinism.

Massah said there was a rise in attacks against people living with the inherited genetic condition and this was causing people living with the condition to live in fear.

He added that the government's failure in finalising cases was a clear indication that "security has not improved, leaving the estimated 10 000-strong community vulnerable and anxious".

"We face a high risk of attacks and we have seen government commitment in words, but not in action," Massah was quoted as saying.

A government official has, however, dispelled the claims saying that government is aware of the challenges but that there has been a reduction in crimes against those with albinism. 

115 attacked since 2015

As in other parts of Africa, people with albinism in Malawi are killed for their body parts, which are sold for witchcraft.

According to rights group Amnesty International, people with albinism in the southern African country are being targeted in an "unprecedented wave of brutal attacks".

The group blamed the police for failing to tackle "a scourge fuelled by ritual practices".

At least 115 people with albinism - a hereditary condition that causes an absence of pigmentation - have been attacked across Malawi since 2015.

The rights group further said that at least 35 cases have been prosecuted, while 43 others are under investigation.

No murder cases have been concluded.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  malawi  |  albinos  |  southern africa

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