For years Albino’s in East Africa have been targeted for their bodily organs. Witchcraft practitioners believe that the Albino’s organs have magical powers.
Such persecution has led in the past to over 10,000 Albino Africans going into hiding, though that did little to quell the attacks. These superstition killings have gotten so bad that authorities in Tanzania have now banned witchdoctors in an attempt to stop the senseless deaths.
The ban on witchcraft comes at a time when there have been 79 deaths tied to the superstition since 2000. Killings spiked in 2009, and authorities were forced to put Albino Africans into special homes for their own protection. Issac Nantanga, an interior ministry spokesman, told the Agence France-Presse:
“These so-called witches bear responsibility for the attacks against albinos.”
The Tanzania Albinism Society has expressed that while the ban on witchcraft is a good start, it doesn’t go far enough. Ziziyada Nsembo, the secretary-general of the society, said that: “It’s just a starting point. The government should understand it is an endless story from 2006 until this time.”
He went on to say: “No action has been taken to stop the killings.”
Albinism effects people in Tanzania at a higher rate than those in the west. In fact, one in 1,400 Tanzanian’s are Albino while only one in 20,000 in the west have the pigmentation disorder.
See the above video for more on the plight of Albinos in East Africa.