Latest News

Toil and Trouble: The Economist

The Economist investigates the challenge police and social workers are facing to prevent the spread of abuse linked to belief in witchcraft and spirit possession in the UK. Read the full story here 

BBC Radio 5 Live Investigation into Witchcraft Accusations in the UK

Listen to the full story, including comment from WHRIN Executive Director – Gary Foxcroft – here 

UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 59 : Witchcraft Accusations Panel

UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 59

 WITCHCRAFT ACCUSATIONS - VIOLENCE & TORTURE -
WOMEN & CHILDREN

 March 11, 2015

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Salvation Army Center – Auditorium

221 E. 52nd St. – Between 2nd & 3rd Avenues – NYC

See full event details here

Read WHRIN’s statement for the panel here

 

South Africa: Juju’s hold on trafficking victims

“The spirits, they will know and they will kill me.” This fear of the spirits, known as “Juju”, was expressed by a 16-year-old girl who refused to tell her rescuer who had trafficked her from Nigeria to Madrid.

According to experts speaking at a conference on human trafficking in Johannesburg yesterday, Juju is commonly used by Nigerian traffickers to silence their victims and scare them into not escaping. The conference was arranged in response to the lack of information, especially statistics, on human trafficking.

Read more here

Kuwait: Pinay worker in Kuwait accused of being a witch, mauled by employer

Monica (not her real name) is a 35-year-old overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who has been working in the Middle East for a little more than 16 years…

Monica’s “lucky charm” is described in reports as …”dried amniotic sac or caul wrapped in a red cloth.” She explained that this had come from the birth of one of her children…

One day, Monica’s male employer happened to be searching her bag. Monica relates he went berserk when he found her lucky charm. He thought it was a tool used for witchcraft. He accused Monica of practicing black magic or sorcery. Under Kuwaiti law, sorcery or witchcraft is considered a crime.

Read more here

India: Man sentenced to life for killing woman suspecting her as witch

A man was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district today for killing a woman suspecting her to be a witch.

Additional District Judge, Baripada, Asanta Kumar Das held Prafulla Santara, a tribal of Badabhalia village, guilty for killing Jhunumani Santara (25) of the same village on October 6, 2011.

According to prosecution, Prafulla had beaten Jhunumani to death with a stick as he suspected that she was practising witchcraft that led to ailments in his family.

Read more here

Kenya: Stopping Witch Burning In Kenya?

Last Sunday, a 45 year old woman, Christine Jemeli Koech, was accused of witchcraft. A neighbour claimed that Koech, a mother of six had been responsible for her child’s illness. A local mob stormed Koech’s house early in the morning while she was asleep. They murdered her and burnt her body. This gruesome practice of lynching continues in the East African country of Kenya.

According to media reports, the neighbour has been arrested but the people who carried out the killing are still at large.

Read more here 

USA: Bible Passage on Human Sacrifice Potentially Linked With Woman’s Alleged Murder of Toddler

Authorities are investigating whether a Florida woman accused of murdering her ex-partner’s 2-year-old daughter was prompted to do so from her interpretation of an Old Testament passage.

On Sunday, Kymberley Dawn Lucas and her ex-partner’s two children, Elliana Lucas-Jamason and Ethan Jameson, attended a service at Metropolitan Community Church in Jupiter, Florida, where pastor Lea Brown taught on Genesis 22. The biblical narrative tells a story where God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, before God accepts a goat instead of the boy at the last minute.

One line of a note found by authorities on Lucas’ computer read “Lea’s sermon really, really touched me yesterday, but God never told me to stop!”

Read more here

India: Man ‘sacrificed’ for ritual three years ago comes ‘alive’

A 25-year-old man, who was allegedly kidnapped and sacrificed about three years ago, has resurfaced – alive and kicking, leaving everyone, including police and those who were booked for his murder, puzzled.

Read more here

Tanzania: Kagera steps up ritual killings fight

The Kagera Regional Police Commander (RPC), George Mayunga, has ordered officers commanding districts (OCDs) in the region to prepare lists of all witch doctors in their respective areas in an effort to control ritual killings.

RPC Mayunga issued the directive to Muleba, Bukoba, Biharamulo, Ngara, Misenyi, Karagwe and Kyerwa OCDs following reports that a standard one pupil in Muleba district was murdered in a ritual killing.

Read more here