from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – MALAWIAN authorities have been urged to investigate the murder of a 20-year-old man with albinism, the latest in a string of killings of people with albinism.
Ian Muhamba has been found dead in the central region of Kachere after he disappeared during a visit from Mulanje to Blantyre, Malawi’s second largest city.
Last weekend, the community reported a dead person who was buried with missing body parts by the police in Kachere.
Police later exhumed by the body, which relatives positively identified as that of Muhamba.
He was buried on Monday.
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, said the brutal murder was the latest reminder that Malawi remained a dangerous place for persons with albinism.
“The Malawian government must protect this vulnerable group from murder, abduction and persecution, in a context where perpetrators are rarely held to account,” the activist said.
Muchena said authorities must launch an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into the killing of Muhamba, and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials.
“Authorities must also take urgent steps to guarantee the safety and security of persons with albinism in Malawi, including by investigating all past attacks and delivering justice for victims and their families.”
Attacks fuelled by false belief about albinism, which is a rare group of genetic disorders that cause the skin, hair or eyes to have little or no color.
Last week, a group of regional albinism associations convened to develop and adopt a resolution calling on leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to guarantee the safety and security of people with albinism.
According to the 2018 Malawi Population and Housing Census Report, there are 134 000 individuals with albinism in the country of 18,14 million.
– CAJ News