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Albino Deaths for Body Parts On the Rise

If you are albino and living in Malawi, your life is literally in jeopardy. At least 18 people with albinism have been killed for their body parts in the country since Nov. 2014, according to a recent report by Annesty International.

The body parts, which are sold to witch doctors for use in remedies, are believed to bring good luck or wealth, according to the report.

Women and children are especially vulnerable because of the myth that having sex with albinos can cure a person of HIV/AIDS. Amnesty International says the actual number of killings is likely higher than data suggest due to the amount of deaths that occur in rural areas that go unreported.

An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people are born with the absence of pigment in their skin, eyes and hair in Malawi.

President Peter Mutharika has condemned the killings.

“That anybody could think that you can be rich by using bones or something like that because some witch doctors have said so. … That’s stupidity,” Mutharika told a political rally on June 1.

He’s established a committee to look into the issue further, but police say they lack officers in rural areas where the majority of the attacks take place.

Click here for the full report.