WINDHOEK - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) must put pressure on member states to strengthen criminal justice systems to protect people with albinism across the sub-region, Amnesty International said on Friday, ahead of the regional bloc’s Heads of State summit in Windhoek.
According to Amnesty International, people with albinism across Africa face the persistent threat of being killed for their body parts due to stereotypical beliefs that these parts bring wealth and good luck.
In countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, impunity for these horrific crimes has fueled vicious attacks against this vulnerable group, according to a statement from Amnesty International.
“The reality is that people with albinism live in constant fear of being abducted or killed for their body parts across the region. They live at the mercy of organised criminal gangs who are baying for their blood in the belief that they will make a fortune. This must stop,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“The SADC summit and leaders must take a pledge to prioritise and take the necessary measures to ensure the right to life, security and safety of people with albinism. It is now or never,” said Muchena.
Amnesty International will host a side event today at Hilton Hotel in Windhoek on “Discrimination and Inequality in the Criminal Justice System: The situation of People with Albinism in Southern Africa” ahead of the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit on Friday and Saturday this week.