New Delhi, June 8: A report by the Amnesty International- the international human rights watchdog- has attracted global attention towards the brutal abduction, mutilation and killing of Albinos in south eastern African country of Malawi. The report mentions a wave of violent attacks against albinos in the country, which is ironically known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’. The attacks are a part of a ritual which is based on the belief that the body parts of Albinos have magical powers. Also Read - 17-Year-Old Boy Kills His Father, Watches 'Crime Patrol' 100 Times to Learn How to Destroy Evidence

The report titled, ‘”We are not animals to be hunted or sold”- Violence and discrimination against people with albinism in Malawi’, reports that since November 2014, at least 18 people have been killed and at least five have been abducted and remain missing. In April 2016 alone, four albinos were killed, including one baby. Albinism is a result of a congenital disease, which results in very less or no pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyebrows and eye lashes. People affected with the disease have completely white skin and hair, and in some cases, reddish eyes. ALSO READ: African Union mission apologises for killing 4 Somalis mistaken as Shebab militants Also Read - Shocker From Fortis Hospital in Gurugram: TB Patient Raped in Unconscious State During Treatment

Albinos are being hunted for their body parts, due to a superstrition that says that their body parts have magical properties and they bring good luck. The victims’ bones are sold to practitioners of traditional medicine in Malawi and Mozambique. The practitioners of this sordid trade aslo believe that the bones of albinos contain gold and are the harbringers of wealth. The practice of this paticular superstition has forced some 7,000 – 10,000 albinos to lead a life of constant fear and persecution by criminal gangs. Another report  by Amnesty cites policing failures as the reason for the increase in albino killings in the country. Also Read - Ameesha Patel Feared For Her Life During Bihar Campaign Trail, Says 'Could Have Been Raped, Killed'

“The unprecedented wave of brutal attacks against people with albinism has created a climate of terror for this vulnerable group and their families who are living in a state of constant fear for their lives,”, said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa. “Malawian authorities have dismally failed them, leaving this population group at the mercy of criminal gangs who hunt them down for their body parts,” he added.