Malawi: Investigate brutal attack against woman with albinism

18 July 2016, 18:36 UTC

Authorities must investigate the gruesome attack on Saturday on a woman with albinism and bring those suspected of the crime to justice, Amnesty International said today following the latest in a series of such attacks.

According to media reports, unidentified men targeted 51-year-old woman in Chitipa District in the northern region, chopping off her right hand with a machete after forcing their way into her home in the early hours of 16 July 2016.

“The authorities’ inaction puts people with albinism in Malawi at constant risk of violent attack,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

“Just last month, the Malawian authorities assured Amnesty International that they are stepping up their efforts to prevent and punish these superstition-based attacks. It is time to go beyond words and to take effective measures to protect this vulnerable group.”


Amnesty International released a report, “We are not animals to be hunted or sold”: Violence and discrimination against people with albinism in Malawi”, on 7 June 2016 on the targeting of people with albinism in Malawi. The report revealed a steep rise in killings and abductions of people with albinism since November 2014.

The report shows that women and children with albinism are particularly vulnerable to killings, and are sometimes targeted by their own close relatives.