People with albinism being hunted and killed in Malawi for their body parts

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People With Albinism Being Hunted And Killed In Malawi For Their Body Parts

In the African country of Malawi, people with albinism are being haunted and killed for their body parts. These body parts are then being sold to witch doctors who make potions that they claim bring good luck and prosperity.

Albinism is an incurable condition that is genetically inherited that results in a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes. People with albinism are also vulnerable to the sun light.​

In many African countries, the lack of melanin makes people with albinism stand out as these communities are often made up of people of color. In Malawi and 23 other countries in Africa with albinism face discrimination and even abductions that lead to killings.

According to a new Amnesty International report, at least 18 albino people have been killed in Malawi since November 2014. At least five others have been abducted and remain missing the report says. There are also cases of the graves of people with albinism being looted by people who remove bones to sell them.

Police in Malawi believe the rise violence is a result of the country's neighbor Tanzania imposing more strict measures against this type of violence in January 2015. Now, the albino population of Malawi (7,000 to 10,000 people) constantly live in fear of losing their lives to violent crimes committed by criminal gang members.

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People with albinism being hunted and killed in Malawi for their body parts
Emmanuel Rutema, 13, of Tanzania, rides an elevator before his surgery at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Rutema and four other children also with the hereditary condition of albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. The children were attacked and dismembered in the belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Emmanuel Rutema, 13, of Tanzania, walks with interpreter Ester Rwela before his surgery at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Rutema and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. One out of every 1,400 citizens in Tanzania has albinism. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Dr. Scott H. Kozin examines 13-year-old Emmanuel Rutema, of Tanzania, who has the hereditary condition of albinism, before his surgery at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. People with the genetic condition, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. Witch doctors often lead brutal attacks to use albino body parts in potions they claim bring riches. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Emmanuel Rutema, 13, of Tanzania laughs with Elissa Montanti, left, founder and director of the Global Medical Relief Fund, and interpreter Ester Rwela ahead of his surgery at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Rutema and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Emmanuel Rutema, 13, of Tanzania, with the hereditary condition of albinism, draws a picture on a clipboard before of his surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The lack of pigments in parts of the eyes causes vision difficulties. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Emmanuel Rutema examines his right arm after surgery to attach one of his toes to his hand, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in New York. Rutema and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. One out of every 1,400 citizens in Tanzania has albinism. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Five-year-old Baraka Lusambo, left, shows Emmanuel Rutema how a toy works in New York on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The children were attacked and dismembered in the belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Baraka Lusambo, 5, plays with a new soccer ball in New York on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Lusambo and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. One out of every 1,400 citizens in Tanzania has albinism. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Elissa Montanti gives Mwigulu Magesa a kiss as he celebrates his 12th birthday with Emmanuel Rutema, left, Baraka Lusambo, foreground right, Kabula Masanja, second from right, and Pendo Noni, right, in New York on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The children were attacked and dismembered in the belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Emmanuel Rutema keeps his arm elevated while he sleeps in New York on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 after returning from surgery in Philadelphia. Emmanuel and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at a hospital. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Elissa Montanati, left, founder and director of the Global Medical Relief Fund tries to encourage Kabula Masanja to sing as Pendo Noni tries on a new shirt in New York on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. People with the genetic condition of albinism, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Pendo Noni takes a break in her room in New York on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. One out of every 1,400 citizens in Tanzania has albinism. Pendo and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at a hospital. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Kabula Masanja, foreground, plays with a baseball, accompanied by Pendo Noni in New York on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The children were attacked and dismembered in the belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Monica Watson, center, applies sunscreen to Baraka Lusambo, of Tanzania, before he and four other children with the hereditary condition of albinism enter a swimming pool for the first time in their lives during a visit to a home in Oyster Bay, N.Y. on Monday, July 20, 2015. People with albinism, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Kabula Masanja, right, of Tanzania, closes her eyes as she steps into a swimming pool for the first time with the encouragement of Elissa Montanati, founder and director of Global Medical Relief Fund, at a home in Oyster Bay, N.Y. on Monday, July 20, 2015. For Kabula and four other children from Tanzania with the hereditary condition of albinism, this was their first time swimming. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
With the help of volunteer life guards, Mwigulu Magesa, Baraka Lusambo, Emmanuel Rutema and Pendo Noni swim and play in a pool in Oyster Bay, N.Y. on Monday, July 20, 2015. People with the genetic condition of albinism, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
His first time swimming, Mwigulu Magesa floats alone with the aid of a life preserver in the deep end of the pool during a visit to a home in Oyster Bay, N.Y. on Monday, July 20, 2015. Mwigulu and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Mwigulu Magesa blows up a beach ball while playing on a beach in Long Beach Island, N.J. on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. People with the genetic condition, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. Witch doctors often lead brutal attacks to use albino body parts in potions they claim bring riches. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Mwigulu Magesa holds a water toy between his body and his amputated left arm while playing on a beach in Long Beach Island, N.J. on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. One out of every 1,400 citizens in Tanzania has albinism. Mwigulu was attacked and dismembered in Tanzania because of a belief that his body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Global Medical Relief Fund assistant Monica Watson, right, helps Baraka Lusambo, 5, dart away from an approaching wave in Long Beach Island, N.J. on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. One out of every 1,400 citizens in Tanzania has albinism. Baraka was attacked and dismembered in the belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Pendo Noni, 15, and Baraka Lusambo, 5, both of Tanzania, wait to be fitted for prosthetic limbs at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 23, 2015. They were attacked and dismembered in Tanzania because of a belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Monica Watson, of the Global Medical Relief Fund, holds the hand of Baraka Lusambo, 5, of Tanzania during a fitting for a prosthetic limb at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Lusambo and four other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Baraka Lusambo, 5, of Tanzania reaches to touch Monica Watson, with the Global Medical Relief Fund, during a fitting for a prosthetic limb at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Witch doctors in Tanzania often lead brutal attacks to use albino body parts in potions they claim bring riches. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Pendo Noni, 15, of Tanzania is fitted for prosthetic limb at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Noni was attacked and dismembered in Tanzania because of a belief that her body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Mwigulu Magesa, 12, left, and Emmanuel Rutema, 13, second right, are fitted for prosthetic limbs by Luis Velasquez, second left, Lance Harms, center, and Jennifer Stieber, right, at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Mwigulu, Emmanuel and three other children also with albinism are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at the hospital. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Monica Watson, right, with the Global Medical Relief Fund, plays with Mwigulu Magesa, 12, left, and Emmanuel Rutema, 13, during a fitting for prosthetic limbs at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Witch doctors often lead brutal attacks in Tanzania to use albino body parts in potions they claim bring riches. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Lance Harms, left, and Luis Velasquez, fit Kabula Masanja, 17, for a prosthetic limb at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Kabula, who has albinism, was attacked and dismembered in Tanzania because of a belief that her body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Pendo Noni, left, and Kabula Masanja play a memory card game in New York on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. One out of every 1,400 citizens in Tanzania has albinism. Pendo and Kabula were attacked and dismembered in the belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Emmanuel Rutema plays Tic-Tac-Toe with Mwigulu Magesa and tutor June Chung in New York on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The children were attacked and dismembered in Tanzania because of a belief that their body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Emmanuel Rutema, Kabula Masanja, Pendo Noni, Mwigulu Magesa and Baraka Lusambo watch the Revlon live camera with a crowd of other tourists during a visit to Times Square in New York on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. People with the genetic condition of albinism, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Monica Watson holds Baraka Lusambo's hand as they walk through Times Square with Emmanuel Rutema, background left, Kabula Masanja, obscured behind Watson, Pendo Noni, background right, and Mwigulu Magesa, right, in New York on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The children, all with albinism, are in the U.S. to receive free surgery and prostheses at a hospital. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
From left, Emmanuel Rutema, Kabula Masanja, Pendo Noni, Baraka Lusambo and Mwigulu Magesa walk through Times Square with Monica Watson, right, in New York on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The children were attacked and dismembered in Tanzania because of a belief that her body parts will bring wealth. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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