10 Cases Of Child Rights Abuses As A Result Of Superstition | Listclan 10 Cases Of Child Rights Abuses As A Result Of Superstition - Listclan

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

10 Cases Of Child Rights Abuses As A Result Of Superstition

In 2014, some 122 men, teenagers, and even children as young as 10 raided a village in Papua New Guinea, burnt down houses and killed seven people. Among those murdered were two infant girls who were snatched from their mothers' arms and hacked to death with machetes. The Marauders were witch-hunters!


The abuse of the rights of children as a result of one superstitious belief or another are numerous and are not so new in Africa. Stories abound of people being tortured on the accusation of one superstitious thing or another. Many children end up dying, every year while undergoing such tortures.

These stories abound because parents of most of these children are deep in superstition found in most religious beliefs.

These beliefs range from witchcraft, parents-suffering-reincarnating children believed to die at birth or after some time and then return to be born again.

Below is a list of cases of abuses meted to children for one superstitious belief or another.


1. PAPUA NEW GUINEA, 2017

Burning Of Leniata kempari
In 2013, Leniata Kepari from Mount Hagen, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea was accused of witchcraft and was summarily convicted by a 'court of the angry mob'.

They stripped her naked, sexually abused her with weapons while people looked on. Eventually, they killed and burnt her body. She had a daughter whose story is the reason we are even reading about her mom.

Fast-forward to November of 2017, Leniata's daughter went visiting another village called Tukusanda (in Papua New Guinea) with her father, where she was immediately identified as the daughter of the 'witch' who was killed in 2013.

The people concluded that, as the daughter of a witch, the girl, who was merely 6-year-old, must have inherited witchcraft from her mother and was, therefore, capable of killing them.

They caught the girl and started torturing her (maybe to extract a confessional statement from her) for up to 5 whole days.

Using machetes previously heated with fire, they peeled off the child's skin which made her suffer first-degree burns.

While this was going on, the child's father was securely held so he was unable to get help or make phone calls to relevant authorities.

Luckily for the girl, she was rescued by members of a local charity organization (Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation) and Chilean Missionary, Anton Lutz.

2. AKWA IBOM, NIGERIA, 2016
Anja Giving Hope Water In 2016
In 2016, a Danish woman and charity worker Anja Riggren Loven and her team picked up an abandoned, sickly-looking child from the streets of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria.
The two-year-old boy had been abandoned by his family because they believed he was a witch and can harm or even kill them.

When Anja saw the little child, he was very weak, thin and survived by scraps of food thrown to him by passersby. He had been in this situation for more than seven weeks before Anja found him. She named him Hope.

On being taken to the hospital, it was found that Hope's stomach was filled with worms. The worms had to be removed and Hope placed on daily blood transfusions to replenish his red blood cells.
Hope Looking Robust A Year After
Source: Anja R. Loven
The Good Samaritan, who is the founder of African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation, even let her son play with Hope who had branded 'witch' by his own parents.


3. BURUNDI, 2016
Albinos At A Tanzanian Shelter


In many parts of Africa, Albinos are believed to harbor mystical powers and are therefore good ingredients for making charms, spells, rituals. In some areas, says the Red Cross, a full albino skeleton costs as much as $75,000.

Between 2008 and 2012, more than 20 people with albinism were slaughtered for rituals by witch-doctors and their accomplices.

A 2014 BBC said albinos are killed just like animals in Tanzania.

Early 2016, some gun-wielding men broke into a home, attacked the couple leaving there and took away their child - she was an albino.

She was only five-years-old at the time of the abduction. Neighbors of the couple rallied round but were a little late as they met 
the dismembered body of the little girl while chasing the abductors.

4. LONDON, 2010


It was almost Christmas; preparations were in top gear. Families were planning and having reunions. Reminds me of 'Almost Christmas'. You should see that movie.

Pierre Bamu, who lived in France, saw nothing wrong but everything right in sending his children to London to spend the festivity with their sister, Magalie Bamu and her husband, Eric Bikubi

Later on, Pierre was called by his son-in-law to say one of the children, Kristy Bamu, was possessed by witchcraft and he (Eric would kill the boy if he is not collected ASAP.

On Christmas Day, Pierre received a call that his son, Kristy, was dead.

During the court proceedings that ensued, it was revealed that just days after arrival, the couple accused Kristy and his siblings numbering five (5) of witchcraft.

Three of the children were especially singled out, with Kristy being the prime suspect, for wetting his pants.

They tortured and beat him with a metal bar, hammer and a pair of pliers was used to wrench his ears.

Although all the children pleaded that they were not witches, the couple continued torturing them. On Christmas Day, they forced the children into a bathtub and filled it up with water.

Kristy, who had at this point become very weak from the torture he had received since more than three days, got submerged and drowned as a result.

The couple was sentenced to between 25 to 30 years behind bars.

5. ASHANTI REGION, GHANA, 2016
A Picture Of The Girl's Back
Source: myjoyoline.com
In 2016, a lady brought a frail-looking girl child with several wounds, burnt fingers and broken arms to Suntreso Hospital in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

She had been under severe torture and confinement at the hands of her father, Kwabena Yeboah who was 34 at the time.

The Lady who brought the girl to the hospital was the man's fiance, who had become fed up with the level of torture and inhumanity with which the man treated his daughter.

"He branded the girl a witch and he sees four spiritual objects in the girl's body when she sleeps. During those times, he would persistently hit the girls stomach until she faints. He burnt her fingers for stealing meat from the soup and threaten to burn her alive at the end of this month (July)," the fiancé said.

Puss oozed from her injuries and they gave out pungent smells. The man subjected his daughter to treatments that would be considered evil if given to animals.

6. AKWA IBOM, NIGERIA, 2008
Benji At 3
Source: modernghana.com
Early 2008 the Child's Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) picked a 3yr old boy off the street in Esit Esit Eket Local government Area of Akwa Ibom State. He had been abandoned by his father after being severally tortured because of witchcraft accusation.

The boy, Benji, was kept and cared for at the center till he clocked seven (7) and was released to and reunited with his father after he signed an undertaking that the boy will no longer be tortured. But alas, he never thought anything about what he signed.

It wasn't long after the man took home his son in 2011 when he returned to his old ways of trying to remove the witch spirit in his son. He later abandoned him in a place where it would be difficult for the poor child to locate home.

According to the boy, “My father said that the witch power has not finished in my body. Every night he will tie my legs and hand then hang me on the roof while beating me with wires and sticks...Then he took me in the night and dropped in a place I did not know; I began to walk around the street looking for CRARN Centre.”

He was later charged to court owing to the joint effort of The Child's Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) and the Young Humanistas Network (YHN) who took the matter on themselves.


7. ANGOLA, 2004
After two of her nieces fell ill within the same period, Helena Kufumana was fingered as the culprit as they believed she was a witch and responsible for the sicknesses. They believed Helena used evil spells to make the other children sick.

They burned the girl's hand on a hot stove as punishment for being a witch. Her belongings were also burned while they choked her. Later, to sum up, her humiliation and punishment, she was beaten before a large crowd by no other persons than her mother and elder sisters.

This continued till the poor 13-year old ran to a church shelter for protection.

8. AKWA IBOM, 2008

When the father of five-year-old Utitofong died of mysterious circumstances, she was immediately identified as a witch and killer of her father as a sacrifice in the cove. Subsequently, she became a target for witch-hunters.

A pastor, who proclaimed her a witch, swung into action as her exorcist and robbed her mother of sum worth her four months wages. He continued tricking her into paying more money until she ran out of cash and had no other option than to sneak her daughter out of the community for fear that the people may come after her. Already the pastor had said she was 'lost'.

She sought shelter in a sanctuary from her home in one of the places for protecting so-called witches. Although there is no concrete proof that she could harm anyone, leaving her family was the best for her as her life was in danger following the pastor's pronouncement.


9. CONGO, 1999

In a Kinshasa home in Congo, a family has suffered one mishap after another; in a quick and unbelievable succession. There were no breaks in transmission. It was just as if someone or something was activating the problems as a priority!

First, the refrigerator went bad. Then the mother of the house got seriously ill and according to her, 'doctors' were unable to diagnose what was really happening to her.

Their grinder broke down. She also had an accident. And not too long money vanished from the home.

Their maize grinder equally stalled and would not work, no matter how hard their father tried.

According to the mother of the house, it was at the time that the money got lost from the home that she 'realized' that her sons were witches and absolutely responsible for their troubles.

Ikomba and Luwuabisa were just 8 and 10 respectively and unbeknownst to them, their family thought they were evil and responsible for ill luck.

They were taken to Prophet Onokoko who was a self-acclaimed exorcist. He tortured and abused the children and others numbering over 200 in what he termed 'Vomiting Up The Devil'.

10. AKWA IBOM, NIGERIA, 2009

It was 2009 and young Nwanokwo Edet was full of life and very oblivious to what it held for him.

He was just nine-year-old and just a child. His school and playing thereafter were his top priority. All this changed when a supposed pastor made a revelation about him.

His father took it upon himself to exorcise the boy in the cruelest way imaginable.

He made the boy drink acid with the belief that once the boy ingests the liquid, the witchcraft will be flushed out of him.

Unfortunately, he succumbed to injuries that the acid caused him, one month after he ingested it, after a long and brave battle for life.