Persecution of people with albinism may occur for different reasons. One is based on the belief that certain body parts of albinistic people can transmit magical powers. Such superstition is present mostly in some parts of Sub-Saharan African communities, especially Tanzania, where albinos represent one in every 1429 births, a much higher rate than in any other nation.
Below are 15 creepy beliefs and facts about the ritualistic killing of albino’s in Tanzania
1. In Tanzania it is believed that potions made from albino body parts by a witchdoctor can heal the sick, bring good luck and even wealth.
2. As a result of the belief that certain body parts of albinistic people can transmit magical powers, people with albinism have been persecuted, killed and dismembered, and graves of albinos dug up and desecrated.
3. According to Red Cross, a complete set of albino body parts can go for as much as $75,000 (£50,000) in Tanzania, and are usually bought by witchdoctors.
4. At least 75 people living with albinism in Tanzania have been killed in targeted attacks since 2000, and more than 100 people have been attacked and mutilated.
5. A United Nations report on albino persecutionpublished in 2013, placed Tanzania at the top of a list of African nations where albinos are targeted for murder. “In most of the cases documented, the attacks involved dismembering the victim’s limbs and resulted in death,” the report said. “In a few other cases, the victims were beheaded; genitals, ears, and bits of skin were removed; tongues were cut out and the eyes and the heart gouged out.”
6. Roughly 7000 children with albinism are protected by the Tanzanian government from human predators.
7. The first ever conviction for the killing of an albino in Tanzania occurred on 23 September 2009. The conviction came about following the murder and mutilation of a 14-year-old albino boy, who was attacked by three men and chopped into pieces.
8. In most rural Tanzania, treatments made from albino body parts are believed to be particularly powerful. Because of this, their remains are used in preparing human potions used by traditional healers to treat the sick.
9. Believing it will bring them good luck and big catches, some fishermen on the shores of Lake Victoria weave albino hair into nets before casting it into the lake.
10. In Tanzania, albino bones are ground down and buried in the earth by fetish miners, who believe they will be transformed into diamonds.
11. In 2010, A 50 year old man was sentenced to die by hanging for killing a five-year-old albino girl in Tanzania by hacking off her legs with a machete and then drinking her blood.
12. As a result of the belief that a witchcraft ritual would be more powerful if the victim screams during the amputation, body parts are often cut from live victims.
13. Albino children are the ones usually targeted for these rituals, not because of the obvious fact that they are helpless, but because it is believed that their innocence will enhance the potency of the witchcraft ritual.
14. Even though neccesary steps has been taken by the federal government to curb the ritualistic mutilation and killings of albinos, it would take the grace of a supreme being to end the killings.