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Albino African seeks Spain asylum

An albino man in Tanzania (Photo: Osoro Nyawangwah)
People with albinism are more vulnerable to skin cancer

The Spanish government is considering an asylum request from an albino African who claims he might be killed in a witchcraft ritual if sent home.

The 18-year-old from Benin, known only as Moszy, arrived in Tenerife last week with 60 other African immigrants.

Some African nations have reported a growing trade in albino body parts, which some witchdoctors believe can bring wealth and good fortune.

The Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid described Moszy's fears as reasonable.

The director of the commission, Juan Carlos Lorenzo, told reporters: "In Africa albinos are considered to be a bad omen or a factor of good luck.

"It is logical that he fears for his life because among different ethnic groups his body may be used in a sacrifice ritual."

Last year, a BBC reporter in Tanzania posed as a businesswoman who wanted to get rich and went to various witchdoctors.

In some cases she was offered, for a starting price of $2,000, a potion made of albino body parts - including legs, hair, hands, and blood - to make her wealthy.

At least 40 albino people have been killed in Tanzania in recent months and more than 10 in neighbouring Burundi.

These are believed to be the African countries where people with albinism face the most danger.



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