07-26-2008, 01:07 AM #1
Tanzania - Albinos killed for body parts
This is just unbelievable. Is this the 21ST century or what?? This article is a month old, but still very relevant.
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — Samuel Luge steps outside his office and scans the sidewalk. His pale blue eyes dart back and forth, back and forth, trying to focus.
The sun used to be his main enemy, but now he has others.
Mr. Luge is an albino, and in Tanzania now there is a price for his pinkish skin.
“I feel like I am being hunted,” he said.
Discrimination against albinos is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa, but recently in Tanzania it has taken a wicked twist: at least 19 albinos, including children, have been killed and mutilated in the past year, victims of what Tanzanian officials say is a growing criminal trade in albino body parts.
Many people in Tanzania — and across Africa, for that matter — believe albinos have magical powers. They stand out, often the lone white face in a black crowd, a result of a genetic condition that impairs normal skin pigmentation and strikes about 1 in 3,000 people here. Tanzanian officials say witch doctors are now marketing albino skin, bones and hair as ingredients in potions that are promised to make people rich.
07-26-2008, 01:41 AM #2
Here is another more recent article, and it talks about the latest victim: a seven month old baby.
Living in fear: Tanzania's albinos
Twenty-five people with albinism have been murdered in Tanzania since March, a BBC investigation has found.
Albinos are targeted for body parts that are used in witchcraft, and killings continue despite government efforts to stamp out the grisly practice, the BBC's Karen Allen says.
Once, albinos used to seek shelter from the sun. Now they have gone into hiding simply to survive, after a series of killings linked to witchcraft.
In Tanzania, 25 albinos have been killed in the past year.
The latest victim was a seven-month-old baby. He was mutilated on the orders of a witchdoctor peddling the belief that potions made from an albino's legs, hair, hands, and blood can make a person rich.
Sorcery and the occult maintain a strong foothold in this part of the world, especially in the remote rural areas around the fishing and mining regions of Mwanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Nobody seems to know why the killings are happening now, but Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete is now putting pressure on the police to identify where albinos live and offer them protection.
This is not an easy task when BBC investigations suggest that some police are being "bought off" in order to look away when such appalling crimes are committed.
'We want your legs'
The last adult albino to be murdered - just a few weeks ago - was Nyerere Rutahiro.
He was eating dinner outside in his modest rural compound, when a gang of four strangers burst in, and threatened to arrest him. As his wife Susannah looked on helplessly, the men began to hack at Nyerere's arms and legs with machetes.
"We want your legs," they shouted, "We want your legs," his wife recalls, still deeply traumatised by what she saw.
07-26-2008, 06:44 AM #3
I can't think of enough words to describe this, horrible, disgusting, nauseating and infuriating.
These poor, poor people. To think that they just started chopping on that man while he was still alive. I know they should have the right to live in their own country but I wish there were a way we could offer them asylum here.
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