Albino woman killed in Tanzania for body parts

People with albinism face constant fear in some parts of the world where superstitions regarding albinos is still alive. Albinos face prejudice but also brutal attacks and even death.

BBC News – Tanzanian witch doctors arrested over albino killing.

Two witch doctors in Tanzania have been arrested after a woman with albinism was hacked to death, police say.

One of her legs and several fingers were removed in the attack on Tuesday.

Albinos have suffered widespread persecution in Tanzania, where witch doctors say magic potions made with albino body parts can bring good luck.

The attack occurred in the village of Gasuma, in Simiyu province – a remote rural area in the north-west of the country where there have been killings of albinos before, our reporter says.

The woman’s left leg, two fingers from her left hand and a nail from one of her thumbs were removed.

While the threat has died down some due to outcry, old beliefs die hard. Check out this incredible piece from National Geographic:

People have been trying to kill Josephat Torner since the day he was born.

In his rural Tanzania hometown, some encouraged Torner’s parents to poison him, saying an albino baby was a curse.

There is a magical belief, promoted by some witch doctors, that albinos are ghosts that cannot die, just disappear and their body parts have magical powers to bring wealth and healing. Since 2000, 72 Tanzanian albinos have been murdered. Add another. Albinism is more prevalent in Africa than other parts of the world. Tanzania has the largest numbers of albinos in Africa. It hadn’t always been so bad but increased in the past 20 years, especially around 2006. Not enough is done to arrest and prosecute for the crimes. The first conviction was only in 2009. Some who have this trait stay in shelters for protection. This piece also mentions bribery of public officials and politicians who ignore the issue. Albino children have a rough time fitting in and getting an education.

More: Persecution of people with albinism

There has been an outcry to ban witch doctors who promote superstitious ideas such as use of albino body parts. They currently need a license from the ministry of health and welfare in order to be allowed to practice.


  3 comments for “Albino woman killed in Tanzania for body parts

  1. Lee
    May 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    This is truly sad. I find it strange that a human that lacks pigmentation is targeted as something evil or not part of the natural world but witch doctors are acceptable. If one is not tolerated then the other should not be. It would seem at this time the claim of being a witch doctor would not be advantageous. “Witch” in the name and all…

  2. kiljoy616
    May 17, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    This is sad, but we live in reality not some Utopia Star Trek world. Time for Albinos to armed them selves.

  3. Artor
    May 17, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Phasers set to kill. Just tell them not to wear red shirts.

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