Teenage albino boy killed and dismembered in Burundi
A teenage boy living with albinism has reportedly been killed and dismembered in Burundi.
A rights group for people living with albinism said the 15-year-old’s body was found late on Saturday, according to the AFP news agency. “The young boy was killed atrociously, his murderers cut his right leg off at the knee, his right arm and his tongue,” said Kassim Kazungu, the head of Albinos Without Borders.
Previous similar killings in the African country have been linked to people practising witchcraft. More than 20 people living with albinism have been killed in Burundi since 2008.
In 2016, a five-year-old girl living with albinism was kidnapped from her home by gunmen. The child’s dismembered body was discovered shortly afterwards.
Burundi’s government has banned witch doctors who claim to perform spells and charms using albino body parts to bring good luck and wealth. But in some areas a complete albino skeleton is worth as much as $75 000, according to the Red Cross.
Around 500 albino people live in Burundi.
Officials believe killings are carried out by local residents who work with witch doctors in neighbouring Tanzania, where 53 people with albinism have been killed since 2007 for their body parts. There are around 170 000 people living with albinism in Tanzania.