Amnesty International slams Malawi govt for failing to protect albinos: Kaliati says unfair assessment

Amnesty International  has faulted  Malawi  government of failing  to protect people with albinism and has called  for authorities to do more to punish those responsible deeply disturbing pattern of disappearances and killings of the vulnerable group.

Kaliati: Malawi is fighting crimes against albinos

Kaliati: Malawi is fighting crimes against albinos

It is widely believed that albino body parts are sold for use in witchcraft.

In the past 19 months authorities in Malawi have recorded the murders of 18 albinos and abduction of five others although Amnesty fears the real number is likely to be higher as many attacks in secretive rituals in rural areas are never reported.

In  a report released on Tuesday titled “We Are Not Animals to be Hunted or Sold: Violence and Discrimination Against People with Albinism in Malawi”,  the global  human rights group expressed its concern  that  “the unprecedented wave of brutal attacks against people with albinism has created a climate of terror for this vulnerable group and their families” in the southern African nation.

Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for southern Africa, said in a statement: “The time has come for the Government of Malawi to stop burying its head in the sand and pretending that this problem will just go away.”

There is no systematic documentation of crimes against people with albinism in Malawi, where people with albinism number around 10,000 out of a population of around 16.5 million.

People with albinism face discrimination and threats, both at school and in their communities. Myths about albinism abound, including the belief that having sex with an albino is a cure for HIV.

“The images that you see, where they hack off their hands, their feet, it’s so difficult to understand what goes on in such a mind to commit such a heinous crime against an innocent human being, merely because they look different,” Simeon Mawanza, lead researcher of the Amnesty report,  said.

He added that children have been sold by their parents, and some of the attackers were close family members.

Malawi government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said the Peter Mutharika led administration is  vigorously fighting crimes against people living with albinism, describing the AI  report as an unfair assessment.

Kaliati, who is Minister of Information, Communications Technology and Civic Education, pointed out that President Mutharika has  publicly condemned the attacks and announced several measures, including the appointment of a legal counsel to assist with investigations, and a national response plan.

However,  Amnesty said in its report  that these measures by Malawi government “have failed to stop the violence.”

The report said: “Some perpetrators have been arrested, charged and convicted, but the majority of crimes remain unresolved. Charges and penalties often have not been commensurate with the gravity of the crimes, creating a sense of impunity.”

The report quotes Boniface Massah, president of Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam), who says Malawians need to reflect on a fresh understanding of the hardships experienced by this vulnerable group and ensure that people with albinism are accepted.

Director of Public Prosecutions Mary Kachale s also quoted in the report  admitting that some police prosecutors faced challenges to understand relevant laws to deal with crimes against people with albinism.

The Amnesty report came ahead of international albinism awareness day on June 13.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

9 thoughts on “Amnesty International slams Malawi govt for failing to protect albinos: Kaliati says unfair assessment”

  1. sir says:

    Kunena zoona boma ili lalephera kuteteza ma Albino ndikale lija zinayambika koma mpaka lero palibe chikuchitika kukhala ngati akuziwapo kanthu iyaaaaaaaaa

  2. Chalume says:

    Really, Mary Kachale? Does anyone need to understand specific laws on people with Albinism in such a situation? I thought they are as human as everyone else?

    One problem that I see with activists working on this issue: why not join forces with the government and other bodies to fight the crimes against people with albinism instead of pointing fingers?

  3. john says:

    KALIATI, KALIATI, KALIATI!

    IF THE SO-CALLED MEASURES ARE IN PLACE, WHY THEN IS IT THAT WE STILL HAVE KILLINGS OF PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM TAKING PLACE?

    IT MEANS YOUR MEASURES HAVE FAILED AND YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR PRESIDENT MATHANYULA TO EITHER DO MORE OR RESIGN SO THAT SERIOUS MINDED PEOPLE CAN CONFRONT THE PROBLEM HEAD-ON.

    IT IS YOU WHO IS UNFAIR TO PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM.

    BY THE WAY, MIND YOUR MOUTH, YOU WILL BE BANNED FROM TRAVELLING OVERSEES. ASK MUGABE.

  4. chibisa says:

    Mrs Kaliati when people are saying that your (our) president is sleeping they meant what the government is doing, Your government has taken more than 18 months to form the so called committee to tackle the killing of albinos and sending the IG to TZ to find a solution!!! what have you been doing all this time? So are you telling the nation that all president advisers are useless they have failed to help him find the solution. Mr president wake up. Show the nation that your in command and that your not involved in the killing of our brother and sisters. They need freedom and do what ever they want like any other person. plz include this mp from Mulanje and he will tell the truth

  5. Mbuchindele says:

    Kaliati inu. ma albino abwenzere aphe munthu wakuda to revenge

  6. The Analyst says:

    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O
    Kaliyati naye sizimayenda upstairs; the response aint at all surprising.
    . . . what’s unfair about this assessment?
    . . . are you sure you are doing enough or all you can? Surely not!
    People have suggested that the punishments being given to perpetrators are obviously inadequate; and what has the govt done in response? Nothing!
    Voice of reason has specifically suggested that all perpetrators be hanged; and why is the DPP govt reluctant to implement such a proposal?
    . . . Something is wrong! This is unfathomable!
    ……………………………………………………………………..
    APM naye sizikumukhudza npang’ono pomwe.
    . . . zoti anthu ake akuphedwa, iye ali ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii; as if all is well.
    And he could even be heard arrogantly say, “We dont need a special law for the albinos.” Seriously?
    . . . if APM thinks the existing laws are adequate, why are our albino friends still being killed?
    . . . If the more than 18 people with albinism brutally killed so far, is not enough; what number is large enough to make APM realise that something more and albino-specific needs to be done?
    …………………………………………………………………
    Yes the govt is trying its best;
    . . . but is it hard to see that your best is not good enough?
    Yes APM has sent delegates to Tanzania and established some committees. . .
    . . . but is it hard to see that he just wants to waste time and that the committees are utterly useless?

    Something must be wrong somewhere; specifically with our leaders! They are acting strangely!
    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

    1. kanchenga says:

      Probably they the one killing our brothers in preparation for 2019 following their failure to perform normally

  7. kkilembe says:

    Be frank Kaliati. Has the Malawi government protected albinos? Apart from sendi the IG to study how Rwanda and TZ dealt with the issue(which means we still dont know how to deal with the issue) there has been nothing tangible to protect albinos.
    Shame that she is trying to politicise the issue.

    1. Deborah Winstead says:

      Sometimes politicizing an issue that is not getting enough response helps such a cause. It brings light to the crime against humanity that the world needs to be aware of to encourage a government addressing the issue. This is horrible! I think making all people aware is important.

Comments are closed.