To Protect Albinos, Malawi Police Ordered to Shoot Attackers on Sight
As attacks targeting albinos continue unabated in parts of Africa, one country has told its police to shoot on sight anyone who attacks albinos.
Reuters reports that the government of Malawi has explicitly told its police to open fire on anyone attacking albinos. People attack albinos because of a superstition that they possess magical powers, and consuming parts of their body will bestow powers on the person who consumed the albino.
People who consume albino body parts believe they will have better luck and health.
The victims of these attacks are most often children. If they are not killed outright so their organs can be harvested, they are often left seriously injured and maimed. Violence against albinos has reached epidemic proportions in Malawi.
In the first 10 weeks of 2015, there have been six confirmed attacks on albinos in Malawi. That is a radical increase from four attacks over the last two years. It is unclear if the threat of death will be enough to stop those who seek to harm albinos. Reuters reports that a fully intact albino body can be worth $75,000.
Malawi is not the only country in East Africa coping with the increased violence against albinos. The country of Tanzania has made with doctors illegal, while Burundi has created special residences reserved for albinos and under police protection.