Madagascar: Police Shoot, Kill Protesters After Kidnapping of Child with Albinism

Cape Town — Madagascar police officers have shot protesters during a demonstration about the kidnapping of a child with albinism at in the southeastern town of Ikongo, according to AFP, killing at least 18 people. Dozens more were wounded.

According to Jean-Brunelle Razafintsiandraofa, an Ikongo lawmaker and member of parliament for the Ikongo district, the kidnapping took place last week, although no further details were immediately forthcoming. Razafintsiandraofa said a crowd of nearly 500 protesters, some of which were wielding machetes and blades, demanded the release of four suspects arrested on Sunday.

The crowd then “tried to force their way” into the police station. Police tried to disperse the crowds with smoke grenades and warning shots before eventually opening fire on what officials described as the “lynch mob”.

People with albinism are regular targets of violence with over more than a dozen attacks, murders and abductions having been recorded over the past two years by the UN. The violence is centred around ritualistic beliefs that claims the dismembered body parts of people with albinism may bring protection and good fortune.

In February, 2022, human rights experts Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond, Gerard Quinn and Morris Tidball-Binz called on the island nation to take immediate action and protect people with albinism.

“People with albinism are living in fear and will continue to be at risk of attack if urgent actions are not taken. These attacks are fuelled by mythical beliefs that the rituals can bring better fortune. The dire economic situation in the country could provide fertile ground for increased human rights violations against people with albinism.

“We urgently call on the government to strengthen their efforts to protect people with albinism, particularly women, children and older people who have been victims of these atrocious crimes.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.