Malawi: Albinism

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 9th June 2016.

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Photo of Corri Wilson Corri Wilson Scottish National Party, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to the President of Malawi on the rise in albinism-related crimes in that country.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We are concerned by reports of a rise in human rights violations against persons with albinism in Malawi. Our High Commissioner to Malawi discussed the issue during a meeting with the Malawian Foreign Minister on 27 April and also with United Nations Independent Expert on the rights of persons with Albinism Ms Ikponwosa Ero, during her visit to Malawi on 29 April. Malawian President Mutharika has condemned the attacks and ordered the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

UN research recorded a total of 66 incidents in the last 14 months, 40% related to exhuming graveyards to collect body parts and 24% the sale of body parts by perpetrators including traditional healers.

In a recent press conference he said attacks on albinos are barbaric and ordered security agencies to intensify actions against perpetrators. So far 69 suspects have been arrested, awaiting prosecution.

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