Jailed for ‘witchcraft’ in Central African Republic


Huddled around a cluster of icons, inmates jailed for “practices of charlatanism and sorcery” (PCS) pray the rosary, mustering the last of their strength as if the only recourse left to them is the divine.

Almost half of the 42 women held in the Bimbo prison facility have been accused of PCS, listed as a crime on the statute books in the poor central African country.

“It’s because of my sister Nina that they brought me here. I don’t recognise the deed for which I’m in prison,” said Sylvie in the jail’s main courtyard, where detainees prepare meals, dry their washing and watch over their children.

In the absence of hard evidence, simple accusations are often enough for a conviction

“My sister’s husband died because he was poorly cared for and my sister…

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