Monday, June 09, 2008

Albinos Hunted In Sub-Saharan Africa


Mluge is an albino, and in Tanzania now there is a price for his pinkish skin.

"I feel like I am being hunted," he said.

Discrimination against albinos is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa, but recently in Tanzania it has taken a wicked twist: At least 19 albinos, including children, have been killed and mutilated in the past year, victims of what Tanzanian officials say is a growing criminal trade in albino body parts.

Many people in Tanzania - and across Africa, for that matter - believe albinos have magical powers. They stand out, often the lone white face in a black crowd, a result of a genetic condition that impairs normal skin pigmentation and affects about 1 in 3,000 people here. Tanzanian officials say witch doctors are now marketing albino skin, bones and hair as ingredients in potions that are promised to make people rich.

What century are we in again?

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