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Malawi teacher arrested over trying to sell albino girl

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The Malawian police have arrested a teacher on charges of trying to sell an albino schoolgirl for thousands of dollars.

On Tuesday, Phillip Ngulube was detained in Mzuzu, the capital city of Malwai’s Northern Region, while trying to sell an albino high school student to a Tanzanian man.

Ngulube was “caught by police on his way to selling the girl to an alleged Tanzanian businessman for six million Kwacha (USD 10,000),” said Malawian police spokesman Maurice Chapola.

Chapola added that the girl would have most probably gotten killed for her body organs if the police had not intercepted the suspect.

Ngulube, who has been accused of abduction with intent to murder, denies the allegations, saying the albino teenager is his girlfriend.

Reports say several people are to stand trial in the African country over kidnapping, mutilating and murdering albinos whose body parts are superstitiously believed to be endowed with magical powers.

Back in June, the United Nations voiced concern over the excruciating plight of albinos in Africa, urging the continent’s leaders to adopt serious measures to stop atrocious crimes against the marginalized group.

“Hundreds of people with albinism – a majority of them children – have been killed, mutilated or otherwise attacked in at least 25 African countries, because of the belief that their body parts confer magical powers,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement on the occasion of the first International Albinism Awareness Day on June 13.

“More cases remain undocumented because of the isolation of the victims, the secrecy surrounding ritual practices, and indifference. Shockingly, such crimes have seldom been investigated or prosecuted,” the statement added.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, an entire Albino corpse is traded for USD 75,000 in different African countries.

Albinism is a genetic disease that partially or completely disrupts the production of melanin in the body and thus results in the absence of pigment in the hair, eyes and skin.


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