Village ‘witches’ beaten in India

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Five women were paraded naked, beaten and forced to eat human excrement by villagers after being branded as witches in in a remote village in Deoghar district in India’s Jharkhand state.  Local police said the victims were Muslim widows who had been labeled as witches by a local cleric.

This is a very disturbing story, but all too common. Widows in many parts of the world are abandoned by their families, deprived of their property, accused of witchcraft, abused and sometimes even killed. What is particularly terrible about this story is that the abusers appear to be other, younger women.

There is a really excellent article about the status of widows in the developing world and especially on the Indian subcontinent and in Africa at: http://www.deathreference.com/Vi-Z/Widows-in-Third-World-Nations.html

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