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28.07.2004 General News

My son will be sacrificed to fetish priests - Refugee claimant

By The London Free Press

London, Canada -- A Ghanaian mother who claims her young son will be "sacrificed," handed over to fetish tribal priests and left vulnerable to abuse is fighting to remain in Canada. Lawyers for Evelyn Edna Baisie, 34, of North York, will file another appeal to the Federal Court of Canada next month in a last-ditch bid for her and her family to stay in Canada.

Baisie told the court this month she had to flee her homeland after an abusive husband threatened to have their then unborn son "sacrificed to fetish priests" in a religious tribal practice called Trokosi.

Trokosi is the practice where children, particularly girls, are offered to religious shrines as reparation for crimes committed by family members. Trokosi continues although it violates the Ghanaian constitution.

"The practice is still conducted by certain clans in Ghana," said Baisie's Toronto lawyer Ricardo Aguirre.

"The fetish priests are the village leaders," he said yesterday.

Immigration officials argued that Baisie and her sons are in no danger since "young female virgins are preferred for servitude to the priests as part of the Trokosi practice."

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