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Dozens of protestors demonstrated in Maputo on Saturday to show their disgust at the kidnapping and murder of albino citizens in Mozambique.
The marchers held aloft placards proclaiming “together against the discrimination, kidnapping, and murder of albinos”. Along the route, they chanted “we are all equal” and slogans denouncing barbarity.
Among those attending the event were Deputy Health Minister Mouzinho Saide, members of the Association of Traditional Doctors (Ametramo), and albino defence associations. It was organised by the Ministry of Health.
The kidnapping and murder of albinos is treated as a heinous crime in Mozambique. Whilst the normal sentence for murder is 24 years in prison, heavier penalties can be imposed for crimes considered to be heinous. In May, four people were sentenced to prison terms of forty years for the killing of an albino citizen.
These heavy sentences have failed to stop the crimes – last year at least thirteen albinos were killed Mozambique.
Criminals kill albinos for their body parts which can be sold to others who believe that they possess magical powers.
However, the head of the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Felisbela Gaster, said that Mozambican traditional medicine makes no reference to the use of albino bodies. She stated “where does it say that for a person to be rich he should buy albino bones? These beliefs are held by healers from other countries”.
This was supported by Ana Paquete of Ametramo, who argued that “we do not discriminate against albinos. We believe that we are all equal. Here in Mozambique, we do not have healers that tell our clients to hunt albinos”.Source: AIM
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