UN Condemns Death of Tanzania Albino Woman Killed for Body Parts

A 40-year-old albino woman was murdered for her body parts in Tanzania this week in an attack believed to be linked to witchcraft, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said.

Munghu Lugata, 40, was probably still alive when attackers hacked off her leg above the knee, two fingers and part of a thumb in northwestern Tanzania on May 12, Pillay said today in an e-mailed statement from Geneva. Authorities in the East African nation arrested two local witchdoctors in connection with the crime the following day, she said.

“This killing and the terrible circumstances surrounding it sadly demonstrate that the human rights situation of people with albinism in Tanzania and other countries remains dire,” Pillay said.

At least 73 people with albinism have been killed since 2000 in Tanzania, where witchdoctors and their accomplices spread the false belief that adding albino body parts to potions brings success, good luck and health. Lugata’s murder was the first this year, Pillay said. People with albinism need to be better protected, she said.

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