Edward Snowden wrote a letter to Annie Alfred, a 10-year-old child living with albinism in Malawi.
Alfred is one of 7,000-10,000 people in Malawi who have albinism, an inherited skin condition that leads to the absence of pigment in the skin and color. In Malawi, and in some other countries in Africa, albinos live in fear of being targeted for their body parts because of a belief they contain magical powers that bring wealth, good luck and cure HIV.
“It is shameful that people are being persecuted for being different,” Snowden, who tells Alfred about his exile entering its fourth year, writes in the letter. “Your differences are not weaknesses, they are strengths.”
The letter was published online by the human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor charged with espionage after leaking documents revealing US surveillance programs, wrote the letter as part of a day of action …