• Press Release

Authorities must put end to killing spree of people with albinism in Malawi

May 5, 2016

Malawian authorities must take immediate action to stop the ritual killings of people with albinism following the discovery of two more mutilated bodies in the past week, Amnesty International said today.

Details were uncovered yesterday of the killing of a 30-year-old woman with albinism, Jenifer Namusyo, who was found dead on April 30 hours after she was stabbed in the back, abdomen and elbow. Her breasts and eyes had been removed.

The body of Malawian teenager David Fletcher, who went missing on April 24, was discovered in Mozambique earlier this week with his arms and legs cut off.

“These gruesome killings are a reminder of the grave danger people with albinism in Malawi live in,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

“Authorities must act now to end this killing spree and take immediate measures to protect these vulnerable people.”

Thousands of people with albinism live in fear of being abducted or killed by criminal gangs in Malawi, where their body parts are sold for use in rituals.

Namusyo was attacked as she made her way to another village on a bicycle to seek traditional medicine. She left home 2 a.m. and her mutilated body and bicycle were found at 10 a.m. on the same day.

At least 14 people with albinism are known to have been killed in Malawi since December 2014, while five others have been abducted during the same period. Their fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

“The Malawian authorities must ensure that suspected perpetrators of these horrific crimes are brought to justice, and that they address the root causes of these killings, which have left people with albinism living in constant fear,” said Mwananyanda.