Century-old Sorcery Laws Challenged by Malawi Witches
Kanthukako Supaunyolo, an 82-year-old grandmother, has been charged with a criminal complaint of witchcraft by her grandchild’s parents. The century-old sorcery law is now being targeted with comments by both believers and nonbelievers. This was after her grandson woke up in the middle of the night with a nosebleed. The parents think that this was a bad omen and that it was a product of sorcery.
“How could I bewitch my own grandchild. For what?” said the grandmother. The woman, along with two of her elderly friends have been convicted and sentenced to 33-dollar fines. And when they were unable to pay, they were sent to jail.
“We suffered this injustice because we are poor and old. I blame the police who are overzealous in arresting innocent people and charging them with witchcraft, which cannot be proved in a court of law,” she said.
Through the good heart of a local rights group who paid the fine, Supaunyolo and her companions, Liness Nkhukuyalira, 72 and Nurse Nthala, 62, were released.
“In Malawi, people hate old people. They think everybody who is old must be a witch,” said one of the women.
According to the Association for Secular Humanism (ASH), there are about 50 alleged witches who are serving time in Malawi prisons. Some of them are sentenced to 6 years. The ASH was founded to help fight abuses against those who are accused of being witches.
“Of late there have been increasing cases of people being arrested and convicted based on accusations that they are practicing witchcraft. We want to secure their release of those labelled as witches because they are 100 percent innocent,” said ASH executive director George Thindwa.
Source : http://www.psychics.org.au/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=841&sid=e919d82332b36fdf1518091a1920db0d