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Nigerian boy called a witch Empty Nigerian boy called a witch

Post by My1SqueakyShoe on Mon May 18, 2009 1:37 pm

Can you believe this???? Are these people stupid???? P

Abuse of child 'witches' on rise, aid group says Story Highlights
Nigerian boy called a witch: "They would take my clothes off, tie me up and beat me"

Children with unusual markings, stubbornness or epilepsy make frequent targets

Director of nonprofit says accused often incarcerated in churches for weeks on end

Pastors have been accused of worsening the problem, aid workers say

updated 17 minutes agoNext Article in World ยป


By Faith Karimi
CNN

(CNN) -- Christian Eshiett was a rambunctious pre-teen who spent a lot of time cavorting with his friends in southern Nigeria. He would skip school and run away from home for days, frustrating his grandfather, who oversaw the boy's care.


Children branded as witches protest on February 26, 2009, in the southern Nigerian city of Eket.

"I beat him severely with canes until they broke, yet he never shed a tear," said Eshiett Nelson Eshiett, 76. "One day, I took a broom to hit him and he started crying. Then I knew he was possessed by demons. ... Nigerian witches are terrified of brooms."

From that day two years ago, Christian, now 14, was branded a witch. The abuse intensified.

"They would take my clothes off, tie me up and beat me," he told CNN in a telephone interview.

The teen is one of the so-called witch children in Eket, a city in oil-rich Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria.

They are blamed for causing illness, death and destruction, prompting some communities to put them through harrowing punishments to "cleanse" them of their supposed magical powers.

"Children accused of witchcraft are often incarcerated in churches for weeks on end and beaten, starved and tortured in order to extract a confession," said Gary Foxcroft, program director of Stepping Stones Nigeria, a nonprofit that helps alleged witch children in the region.

Many of those targeted have traits that make them stand out, including learning disabilities, stubbornness and ailments such as epilepsy, he added.

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The issue of "child witches" is soaring in Nigeria and other parts of the world, Foxcroft said.

The states of Akwa Ibom and Cross River have about 15,000 children branded as witches, and most of them end up abandoned and abused on the streets, he said.

Christian ran away from home and wandered around for two years with other children similarly accused. He said they stole, begged for food and performed menial jobs to survive.

The plight of "child witches" is raising concern among aid organizations, including the United Nations.

"It is a growing issue worldwide, among not just African communities, but in countries such as Nepal as well," said Jeff Crisp, head of policy development and evaluation for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "We are trying to see whether it is a neglected protected issue."

Belief in witchcraft thrives worldwide. About 1,000 people accused of being witches in Gambia were locked in detention centers in March and forced to drink a dangerous hallucinogenic potion, human rights organization Amnesty International said.

To read the rest of this article click on link......
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/05/18/nigeria.child.witchcraft/index.html
My1SqueakyShoe
My1SqueakyShoe

Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-05-08
Age : 49
Location : McKinney, Texas

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