Africa: 30 days of advocacy against Witch-hunts


29 March to 27 April 2010 (Global): The witchcraft epidemic in Africa is fueled by religious extremism. Practitioners of traditional African religions, traditional healers, witch-doctors and Christian missionaries and religious leaders incite witch-hunts on this continent. There are comparisons to be made between Africas current witch-craze, European Inquisitions and American witch-hunts. Perhaps the lessons to be learned in Africa are the same as those that needed to be learned by Europeans and Americans; there is no culture without human rights. All men and women, including Witches, have the right to live without being falsely accused, assaulted, persecuted or murdered.

Say NO to witch-hunts in Africa!

We call on all African nations to:

- halt the persecution of suspected or accused witches,

- uphold and strengthen a culture of human rights for all Africans equally,

- respond appropriately and humanely to incidences of witchcraft-related violence and accusations of witchcraft,

- make the eradication of violence against suspected witches a national priority,

- train local police to manage witchcraft-related violence in a way that affirms the dignity and humanity of those accused of practicing witchcraft,

- create victim support units to facilitate reintegration and conciliation of those accused,

- adopt comprehensive public education and awareness programmes aimed at eradicating the real causes of witchcraft accusations, and

- reform legislation that currently seeks to suppress witchcraft or criminalize accused witches.

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