NGO Seeks Prosecution Of “Witch Hunters”




Femi Adeleke




A Non-Governmental Organisation, Advocacy For Alleged Witches (AFAW), has called for the protection of the aged against persecution and torture from people who usually tag them as witches.


The group also called for adequate prosecution of torturers of victims of alleged witches in the society.


The founder of the organisation, Leo Igwe made the call in a statement issued to mark the year 2022 “International Day in Support of Victims of Torture”.


Igwe maintained that the ill treatment being melted on alleged witches has been ignored mainly due to misconception.


He further stressed that witch hunters, often traditional priests, pastors and other self-acclaimed occult experts subject alleged witches to inhumane and degrading treatments.


“Alleged witches are maltreated and tortured to revenge the harm supposedly inflicted on their victims. In this case, they make alleged witches to feel, suffer and experience exact pain or worse injury than their supposed victims.


“So, accusers torture them until they admit guilt. To elicit confession, witch finders give alleged witches some health damaging portion or substance to drink. The portion makes them hallucinate and confess to commiting the said offense.


“Pastors, traditional healers, and other witch hunters torture alleged witches to exorcise or disable the spirit of witchcraft. They perpetrate this torture as a service for the family or community”, the statement reads.


Igwe noted that torturers of alleged witches deny them theird dignify with impunity by violating the humanity of the accused, which according to him is contrary to the provision of the law.


He, however urged African countries to dismantle all structures and systems that enable torture and degrading treatments of alleged witches, adding that torturers of accused persons should be held responsible.


“African governments should ensure that torturers of accused persons are held responsible; they should not allow torturers to get away with their crimes.


“States should provide support and rehabilitation programs for victims and survivors of torture linked to witchcraft beliefs in the region.


“Governments should ensure survivors transition from their traumatic and horrifying experience to healing”, he added.



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