Friday, 14 October 2011

BBC: African Children Kidnapped for Blood Rituals in Britain

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British authorities have rescued at least 400 children who were brought to Britain often for use in blood rituals conducted by witch doctors, the BBC reported this week. The BBC’s data come from child protection organizations and Scotland Yard, and document the problem: the superstition of juju, or the use of objects in rituals of witchcraft.

BBC reporter Chris Rogers, who broke the story, traveled to Uganda and contacted child kidnappers willing to provide as many children for juju as the reporter wanted. One kidnapper he contacted, witnesses told him, was involved in the mutilation of a boy who survived.

"He Would Need My Head"

According to Rogers, the witch doctors seek children through leaflets and newspaper advertisements, and “there is evidence that some are involved in the abuse of children who have been abducted from their families in Africa, and trafficked to the UK.”

Quoting Christine Beddoe, director of the anti-trafficking charity Ecpat UK, Rogers reported that immigrants believe in the magical power of human blood. “Our experience tells us that traffickers can be anybody,” she told the network, explaining:

They can be people with power, people with money or people involved in witchcraft. Trafficking can involve witch-doctors and other types of professionals in the community who are using those practices.

Rogers reported that at least 400 children had been smuggled into Britain, “and testimonies from many of these children have revealed that once they arrive in Britain, they are exposed to violent and degrading treatments, often involving the forced extraction of their blood to be used for clients demanding blood rituals.”

Rogers also interviewed the victims of the satanic practice. “One boy explained how witch-doctors took his blood to be used in such rituals,” Rogers reported.

“The traffickers or witch-doctors take your hair and cut your arms, legs, heads and genitals and collect the blood. They say if you speak out I can kill you.”

Another victim feared for her life, saying the "witch-doctor told me that one day he would need my head."

“Sometimes I would wake up and he would be standing over me with a knife[;] every night I was terrified that he would do it.”

The witch doctors convince the children they had better keep quiet, or the juju magic will kill their families, Rogers reported. “They told me I was evil and made bad things happen,” a Nigerian girl told Rogers. “I believed it and that this was my punishment and what my life would be.”

Witch-Doctoring on the Rise

According to Rogers, witch doctors “are becoming more prominent in Britain,” a result of the country’s open immigration policy. Rogers visited 10 of them; two offered juju rituals with human blood.

To document the ease with which he could obtain children, he traveled to Uganda. What he found there boggles the 21st-century Western mind.

“Posing as a British trafficker, I went looking for help in the cafes and bars in the underworld of the Ugandan capital, Kampala,” he wrote. There he found a kidnapper who bragged of his crimes and “offered as many children as we required.”

“I have enough, a hundred, no problem. I have so many communications. I have a network across [the] whole of Uganda,” he told Rogers.

Mr Kabul arranged a meeting at an isolated hotel. Unaware he was being recorded, he described how he got hold of children for his customers.

“It all depends how they want it done? I can take you to a family home, I would have no problem to get a child officially or there is a way of doing it secretly, abduct a child.”

I asked Mr Kabul if the police would cause a problem.

“I have to find a house where we can take the supply, the children, in a remote area. So the police cannot find them,” he explained.

The children cost $15,600 a piece.

9,000 Ugandan Children Go Missing in Four Years

In another report, Rogers detailed Ugandans “gripped by fear” of kidnappers stealing their children for juju. “According to official police figures,” Rogers reported, “there was one case of child sacrifice in 2006.”

[I]in 2008 the police say they investigated 25 alleged ritual murders, and in 2009, another 29.

The Anti-Human Sacrifice Police Task Force, launched in response to the growing numbers, says the ritual murder rate has slowed, citing a figure of 38 cases since 2006.

Rogers pointed to a report from the Jubilee Campaign in Britain that says 900 children were “feared sacrificed or trafficked” during 2010. The report provides unspeakable details documenting decapitation and the amputation of arms, legs, breasts, and genitals.

Rogers also cited a report from the U.S. State Department that says nearly 9,000 children have gone missing during the last four years, although it isn’t clear how many of the cases involved juju.

According to the report, published in March, 2010, “A September report released by the African Network for Prevention Against Child Abuse and Neglect showed that 8,286 child-related abuses were reported to police and other sources between January and April.”

Of the total, 2,592 cases involved defilement, 1,292 involved disappearance, and 1,613 involved child stealing or kidnapping. The report cited other offenses committed against children, including torture (773 cases), desertion (594 cases), child trafficking (100 cases), child neglect (680 cases), infanticide (317 cases), and assault (325 cases).

After describing the day a woman found her decapitated grandson in the bushes, Rogers detailed a ghastly story of child mutilation that the child survived. Rogers talked to the man who did it.

“At Kampala main hospital, consultant neurosurgeon Michael Muhumuza shows me the X-rays of the horrific injuries suffered by nine-year-old Allan,” Rogers reported.

They reveal missing bone from his skull and damage to a part of his brain after a machete sliced through Allan's head and neck in an attempt to behead him; he was castrated by the witch doctor. It was a month before Allan woke from a coma after being dumped near his village home.

Allan was able to identify his attackers, including a man called Awali.

Rogers tracked down Awali, who “led us to a courtyard behind his home, “and as if to welcome us he and his helpers wrestled a goat to the ground and slit its throat.” Killing the goat was for good luck, Rogers reported.

Meeting again with Rogers a few days later, Awali told the reporter about the “most powerful spell — the sacrifice of a child.”

“There are two ways of doing this,” he said. “We can bury the child alive on your construction site, or we cut them in different places and put their blood in a bottle of spiritual medicine.”

Awali grabbed his throat. “If it’s a male, the whole head is cut off and his genitals. We will dig a hole at your construction site, and also bury the feet and the hands and put them all together in the hole.”

Awali boasted he had sacrificed children many times before and knew what he was doing. After this meeting, we withdrew from the negotiations.

We handed our notes to the police. Awali is still a free man.

Albinos a Target

In July, London’s Daily Mail reported that an African albino boy was kidnapped and likely landed in South Africa for a tribal sacrifice. Africans sacrifice albinos because they believe the pale-skinned unfortunates are magical.

Superstition about the power of albinos is particularly strong in Tanzania, the newspaper noted, where “albino girls had been raped by men who believed it would be a cure for AIDS.”

The victims' blood, hair and genitals would all be taken by witchdoctors who maintained they would bring luck. 

Photo: Shona traditional shaman or witchdoctor in Zimbabwe


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