By Matthew Roscoe • 07 January 2022 • 8:20
Scotland: 'Witches' executed hundreds of years ago could be pardoned. Credit: Photo by Charles C. Collingwood on Unsplash
THOUSANDS of ‘witches’ who were executed hundreds of years ago in Scotland could be pardoned if a campaign to clear their names is successful.
According to The Times, 2,600 people were convicted and executed between the 16th and 18th century and now a two-year campaign is getting closer to clearing their names as a bill in the Scottish parliament gains traction.
Overall, it is believed that 3,873 people were accused of witchcraft during this period but after nearly 300 years since witchcraft laws were repealed in Scotland, Attorney Claire Mitchell, who leads activist group Witches of Scotland, is close to getting their names cleared.
“Per capita, during the period between the 16th to the 18th century, we executed five times as many people as elsewhere in Europe, the vast majority of them women,” Mitchell told The Times.
“To put that into perspective, in Salem 300 people were accused and 19 people were executed. We absolutely excelled at finding women to burn in Scotland. Those executed weren’t guilty, so they should be acquitted.”
Along with having their names legally cleared, Mitchell also wants a written apology letter from the government and a monument established in their memory.
Natalie Don, a Scottish National Party member of the Scottish Parliament, is behind a bill that could be passed next summer.
“It is right that this wrong should be righted, that these people who were criminalized, mostly women, should be pardoned,” she told The Times.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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