Albinos in Malawi risk extinction
Albinos in Malawi risk extinction

LILONGWE (MaraviPost)— Amnesty International (AI), a world human rights defender body has dismissed a proposal of putting Albino killers on death sentence arguing that death penalty is cruel and degrading treatment. One wonders if killing Albinos is a dignified thing in their eyes.

There is a growing debate in Malawi on whether to have Albinos killers put to death as well in an eye for eye scenario.

This world human right body on Tuesday launched a human report on violence and discrimination against people with albinism for Malawi titled; “We are not animals to be hunted or sold.” The report is exposing how the wave of violence attacks against people with albinism has increased sharply over the last two years with four people including a baby murdered in April 2016 alone.

Addressing a news conference in the capital Lilongwe after the report was launched, Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa observed that Malawi has sufficient laws and strong leadership which can be used to restore security on people with albinism by ensuring that they are provided with basic needs including quality health services, education and economic empowerment.

Muchena further noted that sending Albino Killers on death sentence was not a solution to address the challenge. He suggested the intensification of human rights education across the nation on the importance of the country to co-exist with Albinos.

“Amnesty International has a position on death penalty as we always oppose to that because it is considered as cruel, degrading treatment and there is no evidence that death sentence constitutes any deterrent effect on crimes.

The Maravi Post caught up with Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi President, Boniface Massah. He  lauded Amnesty International’s report saying that it will be used as a tool to map the way forward in addressing violence against albinos.

“Although government is making head way, there’s still a lot of work to be done on the ground towards our security as public places have become even dangerous areas.

“This report will help Malawians to reflect on a fresh understanding of the hardships experienced by the vulnerable group to ensure that people with albinism are accepted,” said Massah.

Statistics indicate that there Malawi has at least seven to ten thousand people living with albinism. So far, 69 cases of criminals hunting Albinos have been registered with 18 Albinos killed since 2014.


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