Seeking asylum is a process that usually involves proving persecution by one’s own country, so the case of these two Tanzanian sisters who were granted asylum in the U.S is a landmark one.
See Also: Increase Of Albino Attacks In Tanzania
This is because it shows the level of persecution innate in living with albinism in places like Tanzania. As beliefs persist that certain parts of their body possess magical powers that fetch wealth, albinos in Tanzania constantly have their lives in danger.
The Tanzanian sisters in question, Tindi Mashamba and Bibiana Mashamba were in the U.S in the first place because Bibiana needed to be fitted with a prosthetic leg after attackers hacked off her leg and fingers when she was younger.
Citizen reports that the sisters had been attacked in Mwanza region in 2009 when Bibiana was 10 years old. She had just barely escaped death after the attackers hacked off her right leg and two fingers from her right hand. her sister, Tindi had been fortunate to escape the attack as she was hiding out in the room.
The two had been rescued by former MP Al-Shaynaa Kwegyir, who took Bibiana to a hospital in Dar es Salaam before the African Millennium Foundation then paid for the sisters to go to the U.S.
In the landmark case, the two teenage sisters from Tanzania were granted asylum in the U.S. with help from students at the USC Gould School of Law.
The level of persecution and discrimination suffered by people with albinism in Tanzania even now is still horrific. The government has publicly condemned the persecution of people with albinism, putting in place various measures to protect those at risk of attacks, one of which was the ban placed on witch-doctors in the country in a bid to protect persons with albinism.
The government’s actions, though commendable, are still inadequate in terms of curbing the attacks to a great extent and assuaging the fears of the people who have no choice but to live with albinism. At the very least, these Tanzanian sisters can now breathe easier knowing that their lives are not constantly in danger because of albinism.