Articles Used for Tanzanian Albino Study & Partial Timeline

I have created this page to link to the more than 80 articles and titles, in date order, that I used to carry out this study/work-in-progress (last visited BBC articles August 20, 2013, all other articles September 16, 2013):

Date Source Title Timeline
09-Feb-97 NY Times Black, Yet White: A Hated Color in Zimbabwe Witchcraft and related phenomena mentioned, but no hint about attacks or murders; most of these earlier articles are not about albino people in Tanzania
01-Feb-99 New People Africa Malawi: Hope for Albino Future Albino Association aims to address marginalization and discrimination.
01-May-99 Tanzanian Affairs Albinos Estimated 700,000 albino people in Tanzania (huge overestimation, one of the highest figures found)
01-Feb-00 New African White Skin, Black Souls Estimated 170,000 (still a huge overestimation) albino people; becomes the most commonly cited estimation, sometimes corrected later, for example, by NY Times
20-Apr-00 Economist A skin-deep African affliction Mentions several figures for numbers of albino people in Tanzania, including 17,000, which is probably the best commonly cited estimate.
23-Jan-01 BBC Malawi’s albinos beat the blues Albino Association aims to address skin and sight problems.
21-Aug-01 MA Dissertation Voices of Albinism
01-May-02 JAMA Dermatology Attitudes and Beliefs of an Albino Population Toward Sun Avoidance Refers to survey in 1997 which estimates that there are 660 albino people in Kilimanjaro Region, one of the higher albino populations
01-Jan-03 Läkartidningen Albinism in Tanzania
11-Jun-03 BBC Cancer stalks Tanzania’s albinos  Uses ‘17,000 albino people’ figure, although census estimated the number to be about 7,000 in 2000.
16-Feb-06 IRIN South Africa – Too white to be black – the challenge of albinism
23-May-06 BBC Ambassador for Malawi’s albinos
24-May-06 BBC What do you know about albinism?
17-Aug-06 BMC Public Health Albinism in Africa as a public health issue This and previous articles mention things like discrimination against albino people and association with traditional practices, etc, but no mention of attacks or murders
01-Apr-07 LHRC Human Rights Report 2006 First mention of albino person being killed, Alex Aron, relates to an event in April 2006, although the thrust of the paragraph is about the albino’s killers, who were lynched by members of the public after being arrested by police
14-Dec-07 Climb Kilimanjaro Website Killings near Kilimanjaro blamed on Satanic cults One of the earliest to mention involvement of phenomena such as ‘herbal medicine’, ‘ancient traditions’, ‘black arts’ and ‘satanic’ inspiration, also body parts of albinos being ‘more potent’. Have not identified the source of these claims.
17-Dec-07 BBC Tanzania fear over albino killing First mention found on BBC site, citing Ntetema and the Tanzanian Albino Society; from this time on, all articles mention witchcraft (or something similar) and the bestowal of wealth or some other desirable objective; Ntetema says this is the “first time that albinos have been targeted in ritual killings” although this is not correct.
01-Jan-08 LHRC Human Rights Report 2007 Claims that from October and mid-December 2007, more than 20 Albinos were killed. The association with Northern regions, especially close to the Lake Zone, is made on the basis of these 20 killings, but there are very few named victims or documented events during this period. The report says “the killings are believed to have been motivated by a superstitious belief that one can gain wealth through the body parts of Albinos.”
03-Apr-08 BBC Tanzania in witchdoctor crackdown Early in the year, the Tanzanian president orders a ‘crackdown’ on witchdoctors and expresses an association between beliefs in magic with miners and fishermen
30-Apr-08 BBC Surprise of Tanzania’s albino MP First albino MP, Al-Shymaa Kway-Geer, is nominated. There are frequent calls for a census of albino people, which is said to be due some time on 2013 or 2014
06-Jun-08 NY Times Albino Killings in Tanzania Reference is made to a ‘growing trade in body parts’ in several articles and hints have been made about large sums of money, but exact sums of money have not yet been mentioned
08-Jun-08 NY Times Albinos, Long Shunned, Face Threat in Tanzania Police officials said the albino killings were worst in rural areas, where people tend to be less educated and more superstitious. Also “influx of Nigerian movies, which play up witchcraft, might have something to do with it”
21-Jul-08 BBC Living in fear: Tanzania’s albinos Mention of grave robberies and albino people being buried in concrete, organized gangs, large sums of money, police collusion, etc.
22-Jul-08 BBC Albino killings in Tanzania BBC has mentioned victims before but this is the first time they have named one, Nyrere Rutahiro
24-Jul-08 BBC In hiding for exposing Tanzania witchdoctors Reference is made to Ntetema’s investigation, which provided estimates such as $2,000 for a body part or parts (it is often unclear whether the sum of money is what is paid to the person who provides the body part/parts, the witchdoctor, etc, or whether the money is for body parts, potions made of body parts, etc)
27-Jul-08 BBC Tanzania albinos targeted again
26-Sep-08 UK Guardian Witchcraft and the law in Tanzania Commentator associates attacks on albino people with poverty and rural populations, despite frequent mentions of great wealth and large sums of money. The phenomenon of attacks on albino people is also said to be relatively recent, within the last 10 years.
02-Oct-08 BBC Albinos in Burundi flee killings Killings in Burundi reported, said to be destined for the Tanzanian ‘market’.
19-Oct-08 BBC Tanzanian albinos stage protest
21-Oct-08 BBC Albino girl murdered in Tanzania
04-Nov-08 UK Guardian Albinos live in fear after body part murders
13-Nov-08 BBC Man ‘tried to sell’ albino wife Attempted to sell wife for reported $3000 to ‘businessmen’ from DRC
14-Nov-08 BBC Mothers hacked in albino attacks Some non-albino people injured and even killed during these attacks
15-Nov-08 UK Guardian Albino Africans live in fear after witch-doctor butchery Early mention of cannibalism, involving the drinking of blood of albino person
17-Nov-08 BBC Albino girl killed for body parts Further attacks in Burundi, tied to ‘lucrative trade in albino body parts in neighbouring Tanzania. An albino girl was shot in the head, contrasting with other accounts, which list knives and machetes as weapons used.
21-Nov-08 IRIN News SENEGAL: Albinos face perilous social rejection Mentions stigma and discrimination in relation to albino people, but not murders of maimings
03-Jan-09 NY Times Burundi: Albino Boy Killed for Parts
15-Jan-09 Economist A horrendous trade
26-Jan-09 BBC Tanzania ‘healers’ flout ban
27-Jan-09 NY Times Tanzania: Government Bans Traditional Healers to Try to Save the Lives of Albinos
17-Feb-09 NY Times Bid to Stop the Killing of Albinos Mention of ‘shoes made of albino skin’. Rare correction made to earlier estimation of 170,000 albino people living in Tanzania, though they use the figure again in future articles.
23-Feb-09 BBC Tanzania illegal healers arrested A pastor is arrested in possession of albino body parts.
02-Mar-09 BBC Tanzanians to name albino killers Government announces that “citizens will be invited to write down on slips of paper the names of those they suspect of involvement”
10-Mar-09 BBC Tanzania ‘witch-naming’ under way BBC refers to government initiative to canvass public about attacks on albino people as ‘witch naming’
16-Mar-09 BBC Burundi ‘albino killers’ arrested
20-Mar-09 Reuters East African albinos fear witchcraft murders Reuters refers to government initiative as ‘secret vote’. Fishermen and artisanal miners are often cited as being behind the attacks.
09-Apr-09 BBC Albino African seeks Spain asylum Albino person from Benin seeks asylum in Spain
01-May-09 LHRC Human Rights Report 2008 Legal and Human Rights Centre Report for 2008 has nothing substantial to say about attacks on albino people.
19-May-09 BBC Burundian albino murders denied
28-May-09 BBC Witnesses testify in albino trial
09-Jun-09 BBC Albino trials begin in Tanzania Powerful businessmen’ said to be among the clients of witchdoctors said to use parts of albino people in their ‘potions’.
23-Jul-09 BBC Jail over Burundi albino murders The exact phrase ‘luck in love, life and business’ crops up at least nine times in the literature; it is just one of many instances of the use of copy and paste journalism. Are we looking at copycat attacks or copycat journalism?
07-Aug-09 Reuters Albino group worried about stalled Tanzania cases
23-Sep-09 BBC Death for Tanzania albino killers “BBC Africa analyst Mary Harper says in a country as poor as Tanzania, it is likely that some murders will continue because so much money can be made from selling the body parts.”
24-Sep-09 BBC Albino killers ‘should be hanged’
19-Oct-09 BBC Albino victim evicted from safe-house
02-Nov-09 BBC Albino killers get death penalty Reference is made to a ‘network of criminals’.
01-Dec-09 Reuters Tanzanian albinos shelter in terror from killers
23-Dec-09 BBC Mali albino given Spanish asylum ‘fled discrimination’ Malian Albino granted asylum in Spain.
05-Apr-10 UK Guardian Witch-hunts then – and now
08-May-10 NY Times Burundi: Albino Mother and Son Are Killed in Continuing Violence
11-May-10 BBC Vicky Ntetema wins bravery award for BBC albino report It is predicted that numbers of attacks on albino people will increase in the run up to the elections as superstitious politicians will be consulting witchdoctors for potions that will improve their chances of winning their seat. This prediction appears to have been incorrect.
28-Jul-10 Reuters Tanzania to hang blood-drinking killer of albino girl
17-Aug-10 BBC Kenyan arrested by Tanzania police over ‘albino sale’ Kenyan trying to sell albino person and finds that it is a police sting operation; the Kenyan is accused of human trafficking for attempting to sell fellow Kenyan, Nathan Mutei. Apparently the police offered $250,000 for a body of an albino person, probably the largest sum mentioned in the literature.
18-Aug-10 BBC Kenyan jailed for trying to sell albino
19-Aug-10 Reuters Kenyan jailed for trying to sell albino in Tanzania Kenyan jailed for trying to sell albino in Tanzania, convicted of human trafficking.
25-Aug-10 IRIN News SWAZILAND: Trade in albino body parts moving south Continued estimates of between 70 and hundreds of albino people killed and maimed, but very few victims are named and very few attacks are even minimally documented. It is claimed that a “complete set of albino body parts” – including all four limbs, genitals, ears, nose and tongue – can sell for about US$75,000. ” Peter Ash, founder of USS, told the Vancouver Sun newspaper in a recent interview that the practice of killing albinos had only begun in the last decade, and “the killing of albinos and trafficking in body parts appears to be centred … in and around the city of Mwanza.”
24-Oct-10 BBC Burundi albino boy ‘dismembered’
02-Nov-10 BBC Tanzanians elect first albino to parliament First albino MP, Salum Khalfani Bar’wani, elected (previous albino MP was nominated).
15-Nov-10 UK Guardian Tanzania’s first elected albino MP fears for life [from Reuters, below]
15-Nov-10 Reuters Tanzania’s first elected albino MP fears for life
11-Feb-11 IRIN News EAST AFRICA: Albinos still targeted for body parts
28-Mar-11 BBC Tanzanian ‘miracle’ pastor Mwasapile calls for a break
05-May-11 Reuters Albinos in Tanzania murdered or raped as AIDS “cure” Mention of belief that having sexual intercourse with an albino woman can cure AIDS; not many rapes of albino people were reported but rape is likely to be underreported in Tanzania
09-May-11 Edge Boston In Tanzania, Albinos Targeted Because of AIDS Superstition
23-Nov-11 Tanzania Guardian Albinos come up with shocking research data
23-Feb-12 BBC Tanzania police arrested over ‘witchcraft killing’ riot
27-Oct-12 BBC Albino models setting the trend for Africa This article mentions attacks on albino people in Tanzania but it is about modelling: “At the moment using an albino model is very hot right now, it’s true”.
02-Nov-12 UK Guardian South African model with albinism challenges prejudices Another article about an albino model from South Africa.
05-Mar-13 BBC UN’s Navi Pillay condemns Tanzania attacks on albinos UN’s Navi Pillay condemns Tanzania attacks on albinos’
06-May-13 UK Guardian Young human rights reporter of the year 2013 – lower secondary category
30-May-13 UK Guardian Don’t marginalise children with disabilities, Unicef urges
09-Aug-13 NY Times The Hunted in Tanzania

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One Response to “Articles Used for Tanzanian Albino Study & Partial Timeline”


  1. Call for Inquiry into Media’s Coverage of ‘Tanzanian Albino Murders’ | Blogtivist - September 9, 2013

    […] BBC Articles Used for Tanzanian Albino Killings Blog Post […]

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