A couple accused of torturing and killing a 15-year-old boy were “obsessed” with witchcraft and warned the boy’s parents they would kill him, his sister has told a court.
A teenage boy underwent “unimaginable physical torture” before being drowned by his sister and her partner because they believed he was a sorcerer who was practising witchcraft, a court heard on Thursday.
Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu, both 28, killed 15-year-old Kristy Bamu in their east London flat after violently abusing him for several days, and repeatedly attacked the victim’s two sisters, whom they accused of sorcery, the Old Bailey heard on the opening day of the trial.
Ghana’s government is looking at ways to support people accused of witchcraft – mainly women and children banished by their communities to “witches’ camps” in the north – and to reintegrate them in their home villages.
Currently around 1,000 women and 700 children are living in six camps in northern Ghana, where they have found refuge from threats and violence from people in their home communities after being labelled witches and blamed for causing misfortune to others.
A male witch who was put under an overnight curfew for carrying a knife he claimed was for religious purposes will be allowed to break the curfew on nights when there is a full moon, a court in England has ruled.
A Malawian rights group said on Tuesday it had paid fines to secure the release of three elderly women sent to prison after being accused of witchcraft, AFP reports.
Russian MPs have backed a bill that bans anyone who calls themselves a witch or a wizard from advertising their services in the media in an effort to combat a controversial national obsession with the occult.
According to the Orthodox Church, Russia has 800,000 practitioners of the occult, many of whom advertise in newspaper small advertisements offering cures for alcoholism and spells to lift curses and return errant husbands for a fee.
One report claims almost one in five Russians have consulted occult ‘healers’ but MPs have warned they are risking their health and possibly their lives by trusting in such quackery.
Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell is making light of comments she made more than a decade ago about having dabbled in witchcraft when she was in high school.
“How many of you didn’t hang out with questionable folks in high school?” she asked fellow Republicans at a GOP picnic in southern Delaware on Sunday.
“There’s been no witchcraft since. If there was, Karl Rove would be a supporter now,” O’Donnell jokingly assured the crowd.
Romania’s Senate has rejected a proposed law that would have taxed witches and fortune tellers.
And the politician who pushed the plan said his colleagues caved because many of them feared being cursed.
Senator Alin Popoviciu of Romania’s ruling Democratic Liberal Party drafted the legislation that also would have forced the country’s thousands of witches and fortune tellers to produce receipts and would have held them responsible for wrong predictions.
Pastors in southeast Nigeria claim illness and poverty are caused by witches who bring terrible misfortune to those around them. And those denounced as witches must be cleansed through deliverance or cast out.
As daylight breaks, and we travel out to the rural villages it becomes apparent the most vulnerable to this stigmatization of witchcraft are children.
The murder is the latest in a series of albino killings in Sub-Saharan Africa, where sufferers of the rare skin pigmentation condition are concentrated.
Earlier this year, another 11-year-old albino child was killed close to the same spot in Swaziland and her hand was removed.
Police believe both children may have been targeted because of a belief by witch doctors that the blood and body parts of albinos – who lack pigment in their eyes, hair and skin – can bring good luck and fortune when used in potions.
Their value for black magic practitioners sees them often fall prey to human traffickers, one of whom was jailed for 17 years in Tanzania this week for abducting and attempting to sell a live albino man.