In certain parts of Africa, albino people are at risk of being attacked and killed. Each victim’s body parts are then hacked off and used by witchdoctors.
A 6-year-old boy fell victim to one such attack in western Tanzania on March 7. A group of hired assassins stormed Baraka Cosmas’s home, chopped off his right hand, and beat both him and his mother, Prisca Shaaban. The Daily Mail reported that both mother and son were hospitalized due to the severity of their injuries.
Baraka’s father is among those accused of partaking in the attack.
Three other children have been attacked for their albino skin in the last three months.
Eighteen-month-old Yohana Bahati’s mutilated body was found a few days after he was taken from his home less than a month ago. Pendo Emmanuelle Nandi, 4, was taken at the end of December and has not been found.
“This most recent tragic attack serves to remind us that current responses from the government, police force and justice system are not sufficient and do not target the heart of this crisis,” said Jonathan Beale, the managing director of charity Standing Voice, which works to protect people with albinism in Tanzania.
“We call for a criminal investigation beyond the hired assailant or witchdoctor, and the gathering of thorough evidence on those involved at higher levels of this absurd trade,” he added.
Despite the recent attacks, the tides may be turning in Tanzania. Witchdoctors have been banned by the government, and 32 of them were recently arrested in the Geita region, where Yohana was killed last month. Additionally, four men were sentenced to death for the 2008 murder and mutilation of 22-year-old albino woman Zawadi Mangidu.