Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hunting for Witches

Well, to be more exact, witch doctors.

In the East African nation of Tanzania, there has been a horrible rash of killings going on over the past few years of albinos, who are killed, and essentially ground up, because of some supposed "magical property" to their existence which grants luck individuals. The BBC has covered this atrocity quite well.

The police and government have been doing their jobs fairly well, despite their reputation, and have put forward some rather unique initiatives to catch those that hunt albinos, as well as tightening security at the borders, where albino body parts are being smuggled into other countries. And even despite all that is going on, there is an albino MP who receives full support and praise for her activism on this subject.

However, despite those positive signs, there is clearly no rest in this rather macabre practice. Tanzania itself has a rather high albino population, and they are all feeling the imminent danger posed by these continuing practices. Many are afraid to step outside, or let their children roam out of their sight. I can't blame them. One can only hope that there will be an end to it soon, for in this day and age, it is unacceptable that almost 30,000 are forced to live in fear of being grounded for use in potions.

It is absolutely unacceptable, which is why I'm glad to see this happening:

"We will not rest and we will not silence our voice until every single one of those 53 victims has received the vindication due to them ... We will not rest until albinos can walk safely in this country," Peter Ash, founder and director of Under The Same Sun, told Reuters in an interview.
You will never feel such a swell of pride in your fellow countrymen until you see such initiative to help those that direly need it. Kudos to you, Mr. Ash!

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