Lilongwe — MALAWI must shield people with albinism from escalating killings, rights groups said after perpetrators' attempts on the life of an albinos' rights campaigner. Since the beginning of 2017, two people with albinism have been murdered while three have survived stabbings.
Last Thursday, four men attempted to drill through the wall of the Lilongwe home of Gilbert Daire, former president of the Association of People with Albinism, as he slept. They fled the scene after his neighbours intervened.
Community members arrested one of the suspects and turned him over to the police. "This brazen attack in the middle of the country's busiest city sends a chilling message about the lack protection, safety and security of all people with albinism," said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International's director for Southern Africa.
There has been a surge in attacks on people with albinism in the past two years. Amnesty has documented cases of individuals being hunted down for their body parts while in some cases, family members and relatives of albinos are involved. Their graves have been desecrated.
"Malawian authorities must end this cycle of impunity of perpetrators of these crimes," said Muchena. People with albinism in Malawi have come under increased risk of being abducted or killed in murders associated with witchcraft.