Vicious attacks on people with albinism in Tanzania condemned by UN human rights chief

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Navi Pillay

Authorities in Tanzania must take action following reports of a surge in the number of violent attacks on people with albinism in the country, says the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Navi Pillay says that she's 'appalled' by the vicious killings and attacks, committed in particularly horrific circumstances, which have involved dismembering people, including children, while they are still alive.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN human rights office, says that recently there were four new attacks on people with albinism in Tanzania in a 16 day period. Three of those attacks involved children.

"On 31 January, a boy called Lugolola Bunzari, who was 7-years-old and who has albinism, was brutally murdered in a village in the Tabora region of Tanzania. His attackers slashed his forehead, his right arm, his left shoulder, and chopped off his left arm just above the elbow. The boy's grandfather, who was 95 years old, was also killed in the attack as he tried to protect his grandson."

The killing and mutilation of people with albinism is often linked with witchcraft. Since 2000, 72 people with albinism have been murdered in Tanzania but only five cases are known to have resulted in successful prosecutions.

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva

Duration: 1’19″

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