Four sentenced to hang for killing albino in Tanzania - CNN.com

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Four sentenced to hang for killing albino
in Tanzania
By Faith Karimi, CNN
November 6, 2009 -- Updated 1133 GMT (1933 HKT)

(CNN) -- A court sentenced four people to
death in northern Tanzania for the killing of
an albino man who was targeted for body
parts believed to have special powers,
authorities said Friday.

There are some 200,000 albinos in Tanzania -- this photo
shows an albino child in neighboring Burundi.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Four sentenced to death for
killing an albino man in northern
Tanzania
Seven convicted and many
more waiting trial for murder of
more than 50 albinos in past two
years
Albinos have little or no pigment
in the eyes, skin and hair
In some areas of Africa, people
believe albinos' organs have
special powers

RELATED TOPICS
Tanzania
East Africa
Herbal Medicine

The four were found guilty of killing the 50year-old albino in the Shinyanga region and
sentenced to die by hanging for removing his
body parts, said Lucca Haule, assistant
commissioner of police.

So far, seven people have been sentenced to death for the killing of
more than 50 Tanzanian albinos, including children, in the past two
years, Haule said. Dozens more are awaiting trial.
Albinism is a genetic condition that leads to little or no pigment in the
eyes, skin and hair.
Body parts of albinos are sought in some regions of Tanzania and
other African countries, where some believe they bring wealth and
good luck. Attackers chop off limbs and pluck out organs, selling
them to witch doctors.
Killings have gone up in the east African nation, which has an
estimated 200,000 albinos, according to the Tanzania Albino Center.
"People believe that albino body parts mixed with traditional medicine
can make people rich," said Franck Alphonse, the center's director.
"It is a thriving business ... witch doctors are asking business people
to bring the body parts of albinos, who are not considered human
beings."
Tanzanian government officials said they have mobilized police to
help the embattled population, but admit it is hard to quell the
attacks.
Most happen in rural areas, where there is not enough police
presence, according to the police commissioner.
"We don't have the resources in those places ... it is not easy, but we
are trying to map out locations where albinos live so that we can
better protect them," he said. "We are hoping the convictions will
serve as a lesson for the killers to stop."
The Tanzania Albino Center educates the public and provides
albinos with basic services such as shelter, medication to prevent
skin cancer, advocacy and awareness. Most albinos are stigmatized
and do not go to school, leading to lack of employment and means to
protect themselves, according to Alphonse.
He said politicians should go after albino killers more aggressively.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/11/06/tanzania.albino.convictions/index.html[26/07/2018 4:18:52 PM]

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