Albinos In Malawi Are Hunted For Their Body Parts Used In Witchcraft Potions

First Posted: Jun 10, 2016 06:30 AM EDT

There has been a disturbing increase in the number of attacks on people with albinism in Malawi since late 2014. People hunt albinos and seek their body parts for witchcraft has urged Amnesty International to call on authorities to do more to punish those responsible.

According to Mail Online, Edna Cedrick's 9-year-old albino son was snatched from her arms after a violent struggle. The family has been sleeping in their home in Malawi when the horrific event happened. The boy is now dead after he and other albino children were targeted for their body parts by people who sell them and used in potions by witch doctors who claim it to bring good luck and prosperity.

Cedrick told reporters about their ordeal the past months while she was holding his murdered son's surviving twin brother, who also happens to be an albino. She recalled the event and said that the people who did it to her son kicked the door open, sliced the mosquito net and grabbed her son. she also said that she didn't have enough strength to fight back and her husband was away so no one was there to help her.

"I held on to him by holding his waist, at the same time shielding the other with my back," recounted the 26-year-old mother in a CBS News report. The boy is the latest victim of hunters operating in southern Africa who target albino people for their body parts.

A report by Tech Times said that activists in Malawi went out to the streets to protest and call for penalties for the killers. Calling the killings disgusting, Malawi President Peter Mutharika has formed a committee to focus on the issue.

A number of false believes is found to be what caused the killings. The macabre trade is believed to stem from the belief that albino's bones contain gold. Sex with an albino too is falsely thought to miraculously cure HIV, Reuters reported.

Amnesty International considers April as the bloodiest month for the attacks, with four albino people murdered including a child under age 2. The child's father and four others have been arrested. Family members are also often part of the widespread discrimination against people with albinism.

Malawi has recorded 18 albino murders and abduction of five others in the last 19 months, but the human rights group fears higher actual data due to unreported cases in rural locations. At least 69 crimes in total have been documented since November 2014.

"The unprecedented wave of brutal attacks against people with albinism has created a climate of terror for this vulnerable group and their families," said the group's director for southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, in a statement.

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