Tags: africa | albinism | kidnapped | murdered | grave robbers

Africa's Albinos Kidnapped and Murdered For Sale of Their Body Parts

Africa's Albinos Kidnapped and Murdered For Sale of Their Body Parts
Catherine Amidu, a 12 year old Malawian albino girl (Gianluigi Guercia/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 June 2016 07:17 PM

Africans afflicted with albinism, a genetic condition that results in a lack of pigment in their skin, hair and eyes, are reportedly being targeted for kidnappings and murders to sell their body parts on the black market.

At least 18 albinos have been killed over the last year and a half alone in Malawi, and five more have been abducted and are still missing, the Washington Post reports. 

"Thousands of people with albinism are at severe risk of abduction and killing by individuals and criminal gangs in Malawi, where their body parts are allegedly sold for use in rituals, a new report from Amnesty International charges. 

"Graves of people with albinism have also been targeted by criminals who remove bones in order to sell them."

Albinism is more prevalent in parts of Africa than elsewhere in the world, Quartz.com reports. 

But superstitions about the genetic condition are rife, especially in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique, the Post reports.

"Their bones are believed to be sold to practitioners of traditional medicine in Malawi and Mozambique for use in charms and magical potions in the belief that they bring wealth and good luck," Amnesty declares.

"The macabre trade is also fueled by a belief that bones of people with albinism contain gold."

Ruthless gangs can sell sets of body parts for as much as $75,000, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports. 

Ikponwosa Ero, who works with the United Nations on issues around albinism, fears albinos in parts of southern Africa face extinction.

"I said that this will happen over time if nothing is done," she told Al Jazeera last month. "The situation is a potent mix of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and market forces which push people to do things for profit."

Even in death, she said, albinos can't find peace "as their remains are robbed from graveyards."

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Africans afflicted with albinism, a genetic condition that results in a lack of pigment in their skin, hair and eyes, are reportedly being targeted for kidnappings and murders to sell their body parts on the black market. At least 18 albinos have been killed over the last...
africa, albinism, kidnapped, murdered, grave robbers
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2016-17-07
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 07:17 PM
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