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Albinos targeted in Tanzania
Published Thursday, December 4, 2008 10:44AM MST
It's a crime so shocking and so incomprehensible we have to issue a warning about the graphic nature of the story before telling it.
Albinos in parts of Tanzania are being slaughtered all in the name of witchcraft. Witchdoctors have been known to pay large sums of money to the killers because of the belief that the bodies and blood of albinos contain special powers that can lead to wealth, success and prosperity.
Since 2007, police have documented 31 cases where albinos have been killed for their body parts. But those at the frontline of the crisis say the numbers are more like 70.
Canadian Peter Ash, who is an albino, recently travelled to Tanzania to hear the stories and document them himself.
Ash visited the Midtindo School, near Mwanza, Tanzania. It's a boarding school many young albinos now call home. A little boy name Menyasi was placed in the school by his mother out of fear for his life. The little boy's sister was murdered and dismembered and the mother didn't want the same thing happening to her son.
Many albinos targeted by the killers don't live to tell their story. Mariam is one of the lucky ones. The 28-year-old has no hands and is missing part of her arms because of an attack she endured. Her attack happened a month ago while she was four-months pregnant. Her new born will arrive soon and she grieves over the fact that she will not be able to hold her own child with her hands.
Ash is hoping to speak before the UN in New York and to pressure Canada's minister of foreign affairs to do something about the killings.
For more information about Peter Ash and his organization Under The Same Sun, click on the link to the right.