People with albinism in Tanzania need more protection: UN human rights chief

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An Albino boy carries a baby in Oromi IDP camp, Kitgum District, northern Uganda, 17 May 2007. © Manoocher Deghati/IRIN

An appeal for more protection for people with albinism in Tanzania has been made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

It follows what has been described as "the barbaric" murder on Monday of a 40-year old woman with albinism.

It's thought her body parts were to be used in ritual potions.

Citing police reports, the UN human rights office said Munghu Lugata was brutally murdered in her home in north-western Tanzania.

Cecile Pouilly from the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva described the murder of the Tanzanian woman.

"Her attackers chopped off her left leg above the knee, two of her fingers and the upper part of her left thumb, apparently while she was still alive. So we are really extremely concerned about the situation of people with albinism and we are hoping that the Tanzanian authorities are going to quickly take measures to better protect this very vulnerable community." (21")

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed the rapid response of the police, who arrested two local witchdoctors on Tuesday.

Ms Lugata's murder is the first reported killing of someone with albinism in Tanzania this year.

According to the UN human rights office, at least 73 people with albinism have been murdered in Tanzania since 2000.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’22″

 

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