Khalfan Said/AP
Tanzanian Albino, Muadhani Ramadhani,
weaves an Africa tradition carpet at Mnazi
Mmoja grounds in Dares Salaam. (AP)

Tanzania’s Albinos Targeted for Body Parts

July 23, 2008 07:59 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
At least 25 albinos have been murdered since March due to the belief that their body parts are useful in witchcraft.

30-Second Summary

A BBC investigation in Tanzania has found that killings of albinos linked to witchcraft have continued in what local officials say is a growing trade in albino body parts.

One of the most recent victims was a seven-month-old baby who was ordered killed by a witch doctor.

Belief in sorcery is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, where many believe that albinos have magical powers and that a potion made from their legs, hair, hands, and blood can lead to wealth. Many albinos in Tanzania, where it is estimated that about one in 3,000 people suffer from the condition, have gone into hiding.

“I feel as if I am being hunted,” said Samuel Mluge, a 49-year-old resident of Dar es Salaam, to the newspaper Scotland on Sunday.

Tanzanian police, in an effort to protect its albino population, are creating lists of local albinos, who are often treated as outcasts.

People with albinism have long suffered persecution in many parts of the world and continue to be the victims of both ordinary discrimination and violent atrocities. In the past, they were often included in circus sideshows and associated with superstitions and magical powers.

It has been reported that albinos in Zimbabwe are suffering widespread rapes, due to the belief that having sexual intercourse with an albino can cure HIV/AIDS.

Headline Links: ‘Living in fear: Tanzania’s albinos’

Background: ‘Fighting the Stigma of Albinism’

Related Topics: Albinos in pop culture

Reference: The National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation


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