Why reason really matters
The case of Margaret Wisele in Malawi, a woman who had her leg hacked off because she was accused of witchcraft, reminds us of the vital importance of campaigning for reason.
We have reported before on the brave work done by George Thindwa, battling belief in witchcraft in Malawi, but it's always worth being reminded why this work is so important.
Today he sent this picture, of Margaret Wisele (above).
On 21 January, Margaret, who is 50, was attacked by three boys from her village, who accused her of witchcraft. They hacked at her leg with a machete. She was taken to Zomba Hospital, where doctors were forced to amputate her leg four days later.
The attack came at a funeral for Margaret's grand-nephew, who had died suddenly. Many in the village blamed Margaret for the death, accusing her of witchcraft and inciting the boys to attack her.
For weeks after the attack nothing was done to arrest the perpetrators, until George Thindwa got involved, and spurred the police to action. Yesterday (18 March) Thindwa visited Margaret's village and the three perpetrators were placed under arrest.
George hopes to be able to raise money to buy Margaret some crutches or a prosthetic leg in the near future.
He reports that "Margaret is well, except that she feels some pain on her amputated leg sometimes".
Margaret's dignity and George's tireless campaigning against the superstitions that underpin such crimes is a reminder of the vital importance of educating about and promoting reason.