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October 4, 2023

Activist slams Seychelles govt for accusing opposition leader of witchcraft

Activist slams Seychelles govt for accusing opposition leader of witchcraft

By Biodun Busari

The Director, Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW), Dr Leo Igwe, has condemned the government of Seychelles for accusing the opposition leader, Patrick Herminie, of witchcraft.

Igwe said the accusation was “absurd and constituted a show of shame and embarrassment.”

The AfAW boss made this reaction on Wednesday, following a report that the authorities of Seychelles indicted Herminie of witchcraft.

Herminie, the leader of the United Seychelles party and a candidate in the 2025 presidential election described the allegation as “political”.

He was, however, arrested last Friday.

Reacting, Igwe said, “The Advocacy for Alleged Witches is asking the government of Seychelles to drop these charges because they are absurd and constitute a show of shame and embarrassment. 

“The prosecution of Herminie and other co-accused is witch hunting in both literal and political sense. 

“And witch hunting should have no place in 21st century politics in Seychelles. Otherwise, how does the government define witchcraft or witchcraft items? 

“How does the government distinguish witchcraft items, whatever that means, from traditional religious objects? How did the prosecutors know that the said items were intended for use in witchcraft? Are stones, black wooden artefacts, and small bottles of brownish liquid witchcraft materials? 

“I mean how will state prosecutors establish that some symbols are demonic and satanic?”

“At a time of growing cases of witch persecution in many parts of Africa, the government of Seychelles should discontinue this unfortunate and unwarranted instance of witch hunting,” he added.