Five people killed in Malawi following witchcraft accusations

Five people in Malawi have been killed recently in two separate attacks following accusations of witchcraft.

The Nation reports (25th January) that a 70-year-old man, identified as Limion Julius, was brutally murdered by four men after being accused of ‘bewitching’ a person who later died in hospital. The local police force in Dedza are looking for the four men.

In a separate attack on 25th January, the Nyasa Times reports (warning: graphic content) that four members of the same family were murdered following the death of a 17-year-old girl after a lightening strike.

Following the attacks, George Thindwa, executive director of the Malawi Association for Secular Humanism, said:
“The Association for Secular Humanism of Malawi is deeply saddened by this event. ASH calls upon Malawians to desist from such barbaric actions which are not in line with human rights principles and the rule of law. It is also very disheartening that people should be killing each other because of witchcraft beliefs in the 21st Century.

“ASH has been campaigning against witchcraft based violence for the past five years and has expectations that this bad behaviour should actually be declining or being eradicated.”

These two attacks only a few weeks after the Norwegian Embassy in Lilongwe announced its decision to discontinue funding for ASHs anti-witchcraft-based violence programme.

HSS reported a similar case when a couple were burned to death following a witchcraft accusation in October 2015.

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Scotland Malawi Humanist Partnership

Humanist Society Scotland and the Association of Secular Humanism in Malawi are coming together to collaborate on a new programme to support human rights, education and development in Malawi. The partnership aims to provide capacity building support to enable ASH in Malawi to grow and develop their work on the ground. The partnership project is supported by the International Humanist and Ethical Union and the Scotland Malawi Partnership.

This is the first initiative of the new HSS International Fund which aims to support the work of humanists working on the ground in developing countries. If we raise more than our target, don’t worry, all funds will be used for activities to support humanists on the ground in other countries around the world.


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