Malawian arrested for trying to strangle albino

2015-03-12 21:06

Blantyre - Police in Malawi said on Thursday they had arrested a man for trying to strangle to death a 16-year-old albino boy, with a rights group reporting six murders in the last three months.

The suspect had been on the run after he was caught trying to kill the 16-year-old at his home in February.

In the southern tea-growing district of Mulanje, police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the man would soon appear in court on a charge of attempted murder.

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

Six albinos have been killed in the impoverished southern African country since December, according to the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi.

Malawian albinos are "living in fear of being attacked or killed" because of the recent spate of murders, association director Boniface Massah said.

Belief in witchcraft runs deep in Malawi and albino body parts are often used in rituals. Even the bodies of dead albinos are sometimes exhumed and sold.

Hereditary genetic condition

Earlier this week, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein denounced attacks against albinos as "stunningly vicious, with children in particular being targeted".

Albinism is a hereditary genetic condition that causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.

Countries in east and west Africa are worst affected, and Tanzania near Malawi has one of the highest attack rates.

In Tanzania, body parts sell for around $600 and an entire corpse fetches $75 000, according to the UN.

On Thursday, Tanzanian police said over 200 people have been arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on witchdoctors linked to a wave of albino attacks and murders.

Albinism in Tanzania affects one in 1 400 births, often as a result of inbreeding, experts say.

  • Bongani Hlongwa - 2015-03-12 21:16

    This supid dangerous savage deserves to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

      Watson Mhone - 2015-03-13 06:02

      Exactly,they deserve to be sentenced to death by hunging

  • Valentine Masina - 2015-03-12 21:28

    What a shameful thing

      Nikki Downes - 2015-03-12 21:30

      I wish I could protect these poor innocent people. It's must be terrifying to be an albino. Heartbreaking and sadistic. May God protect them

  • Isa Adio Adebayo - 2015-03-12 21:29

    albnism is not an hereditary condition but a result of genetic mutations which might be due to exposures to certain radiations among other reasons.

      Tookie Angel Rakolote - 2015-03-13 02:05

      Thanks for telling us what we know. What now?

  • Zibuse Mazeka - 2015-03-12 22:03

    This is a warning to our country as well ,so we need to stop this senseless discriminatory statements and stand together ,prepare to stop the killing of people just because of the pigmentation of their skin.

  • Alicia Motsepe - 2015-03-12 22:35

    Terrible shame!

  • M-brown Shongwe - 2015-03-12 23:19

    Hahahahaha jerrrrr!!! Nw its like they killing animals tjooo what are bloody crazy habbit

  • Imran Phiri - 2015-03-13 02:10

    Those devils must be killed

  • Zephaniah Mvula - 2015-03-13 03:50

    Simple solution to my fellow Malawians at home: work hard to earn a living. All human beings are the same and none of our body partrs are worth anything. How I wish if these ppo could change their thinking capacity

  • Tavengwa Chivirira Muchini - 2015-03-13 04:04

    Zveshuwa vanhu havana kukwana pfungwa panyika pano.No wonder Mwari achiti munhu marara

  • Watson Mhone - 2015-03-13 06:00

    This is ridiculous,why people are still believing in witch craft,how do you feel if people can do that to your child? Please just work hard and you'll find what you need,we all having human rights,no body wants to die very soon,leave ALBINOS they're also HUMANS like you and I,please!

  • Gans Gane - 2015-03-14 16:59

    Evil at its best...Their government must speed up the implementation of lengthy sentences for these satanist.

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