Friday, July 24, 2009

Burundi Albino Killers Convicted

I recently covered the arrests of five suspected albino killers in Tanzania. The suspects were accused of killing albinos in order to sell their body parts to witch doctors and traditional healers. The article I quoted mentioned that similar trials had started in May in neighboring Burundi. Authorities believe that the murders were the work of a single criminal organization that operated and coordinated its actions across the border that separates the two countries.

The Burundi trials have now been concluded, resulting in eight convictions.

A court in Burundi on Thursday sentenced one person to life in prison and handed seven others jail terms over the murders of albinos, who have been targeted in connection with witchcraft.

In addition to the individual sentenced to life in prison for murder, the seven other individuals were sentenced for other crimes related to their involvement in the organization.

On Thursday, three people were sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted murder, while one was given seven years for complicity, said Nahamasabo.

Two others were jailed for two years and another to a year, the judge said.

This should send a message to authorities in Tanzania, and hopefully the trials there will end with convictions as well. With the arrests in Tanzania and Burundi it appears as if the black market for albino body parts has mostly collapsed and there have been no new attacks in several months. Let's hope that it stays that way.

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1 comment:

Nerd said...

The hunchback murderers really freaked me out.