Thursday, March 19, 2009

Witch Hunting in Africa

Gambia is currently engaged in a massive witch hunt. No, it's not the kind that involves trying to find evidence of wrongdoing, they are actually rounding up suspected witches, the type that cast spells and brew potions. Really. And they are very serious about it. Here's one example:
Local witnesses said the paramilitary police armed with guns and shovels surrounded the village and threatened the villagers that anyone who tries to escape will be killed. “They randomly identified over 300 men and women who were forced at gunpoint into waiting buses and ferried to the President's hometown,” they told Amnesty International.

Apparently suspected witches are forced to bath in and drink something identified only as a "dirty herb." I guess this method is better than throwing them into water and seeing if they sink or float. 

As soon as I saw this story, I had to check to see how much, if any, money the U.S. was giving to Gambia -- because you know the U.S. hands out money to almost anyone. Sure enough we are giving them money, but only $88,000.


  1. I had a friend who used to live in Gambia. She said the President believed that he could cure people with his touch. Thousands of HIV victims would beg to differ.

  2. Maybe that's why he's after "witches." Can't have anyone else with special magic powers.