Saturday, 2 June 2012

Over 500 killed yearly on beliefs in witchcraft

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Bernard Lugongo, The Citizen Reporter

About 500 people are killed every year in the country for being suspected of practicing witchcraft, a new report has said.The 2011 Human Rights Report prepared by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) indicates that for the last six years, a total of 3000 people, mostly elderly people, were murdered by fearful neighbours who believed them to be witches.

The report has cited witchcraft killings as among leading factors in violation of the right to life mostly last year. Other leading factors included mob justice, extrajudicial killings and road accidents.Said the LHRC executive director, Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba: “Thousands of people lose their lives because they are suspected of engaging in witchcraft.”

The leading regions for it still remained Mwanza and Shinyanga. For instance, 242 people were killed for such reasons in Shinyanga from January 2010 to June 2011.

Road accidents also remained major factors of violation of the right to life as statistics show that the number of people who lost their lives in road accidents rose from 3,582 in 2010 to 3,981 in 2011.

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