Killers of Burundi albinos jailed

Gang sold body parts from murdered African albinos for use in witchcraft.

    Witch doctors tell clients albinos' body parts bring luck in love, life and business

    Mutilated bodies

    Police believe parts of the bodies of 11 murdered and mutiliated albino men, women and children were smuggled across the border into Tanzania and sold to witch doctors, who claim albinos' flesh brings luck in love, life and business.

    In depth

     Video: African albinos killed for body organs
     The 'genocide' of Burundi's albinos

    The killings took place over a six-month period in Ruyigi in 2008.

    Isaac Mwaura, from the Albino Society of Kenya, told Al Jazeera he thought the crimes were "an extension of greed".

    "People are greedy to overcome their poverty and they do anything whatsoever, including killing their fellow human beings.

    "Witchcraft has been practised for a very long time in Africa and it's just metamorphosed into our modern ways of life, so when richness is seen in terms of money and prosperity, people are going ahead.

    He said: "If you look at witchcraft, before people were told to bring a white hen or a black cat.

    "But now they ... think these don't work and use people with albinism."

    Albinism is a congenital lack in the skin, eyes and hair of melanin pigment which protects against the sun's ultraviolet rays.

    There are about 200 albinos in the small central African nation of eight million people.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.