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25 Aug 2017

JUNGLE JUSTICE: 5 Witches Beaten to Death, Their Corpses Burnt

A Tanzanian court has charged 32 people with murder after five women suspected of witchcraft were beaten to death, and their corpses burned, in a move which could help to deter such killings.
Chairwoman of the Tanzania women lawyers association, Athanasia Soka, said it is the first time a mob has been charged with witch killings.

She added that hundreds of suspected witches are murdered in the east African country each year.

The suspects, among them, the leader of a local militia, are accused of killing the women in Tabora region on July 25.

The suspects, among them the leader of a local militia, are accused of killing the women in Tanzania's western Tabora region on July 25, state attorney Melito Ukongoji told a magistrates court on Monday.

"I am happy to see that authorities are taking appropriate actions to prevent violent crimes against innocent women," said Lweno Masali, a local resident.

Most of the women were beaten to death before being burned, a police spokesman told Reuters.

The suspects did not enter any pleas because the court does not have the jurisdiction to preside over murder cases.

They were remanded in jail until Sept. 4, when the case will move to a higher court.

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