Albino abduction: Court jails man for 21 years

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*Albino Children

A court in the southern city of Zomba in Malawi has sent a man, Jafali Ligomba to prison for 21 years for kidnapping a four-year-old albino boy.

Ligomba, even though he is still at large and the child has not yet been recovered, was sentenced to serve as a deterrent to others.

It was the first court case of the year involving crimes against albinos, who faced kidnap and murder for their body parts, which are believed by many to hold magical powers and are used in “witchcraft.’’

According to a police statement, the kidnapping occurred in November in the Mangochi district, when the boy was abducted while his mother was away attending a funeral.

Reacting, president of the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi, Overstone Kondowe, welcomed the harsh sentence but added that it would need to be reviewed once the status of the missing boy is established.

“It is a fair sentence. Being the first case this year, we hope it will be a yardstick for further cases,’’ Kondowe added.

Since 2014, Malawi has registered 25 albino murders, as well as numerous cases that involved the selling of body parts and grave-robbing.

 

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