Friday, February 8, 2013

20 year-old mother accused of witchcraft burnt alive

A mob stripped, tortured and bound a woman accused of witchcraft, then burned her alive in front of hundreds of horrified witnesses in a Papua New Guinea town, police said Friday. It was the latest sorcery-related killing in this South Pacific island nation.
Bystanders, including many children, watched and some took photographs of Wednesday's brutal slaying. Grisly pictures were published on the front pages of the country's two largest newspapers, The National and the Post-Courier, while the prime minister, police and diplomats condemned the killing.
Leniata, a 20-year-old mother, had been accused of sorcery by relatives of a 6-year-old boy who died in a hospital. She was tortured with a hot iron rod, bound, doused in gasoline, and then set alight on a pile of car tires
In rural Papua New Guinea, witchcraft is often blamed for unexplained misfortunes. Sorcery has traditionally been countered by sorcery, but responses to allegations of witchcraft have become increasingly violent in recent years.
Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old mother, had been accused of sorcery by relatives of a 6-year-old boy who died in a hospital on Tuesday.
She was tortured with a hot iron rod, bound, doused in gasoline, and then set alight on a pile of car tires and trash in the Western Highlands provincial capital of Mount Hagen, national police spokesman Dominic Kakas said.  (Click here for photo of the barbaric burning)
The country's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has sworn to bring the killers to justice, as he addressed the matter in a statement today.  ‘No one commits such a despicable act in the society that all of us, including Kepari, belong to,' he said.
‘Barbaric killings connected with alleged sorcery. Violence against women because of this belief that sorcery kills. These are becoming all too common in certain parts of the country.
'It is reprehensible that women, the old and the weak in our society should be targeted for alleged sorcery or wrongs that they actually have nothing to do with.’
The U.S. embassy on the Papua New Guinea issued a statement condemning the "’brutal murder’ calling it evidence of ‘pervasive gender-based violence’.
’We add our voice to those of Papua New Guinean religious and civil society leaders who have spoken out against the brutality inflicted upon Ms Leniata,’ the embassy said.
‘There is no possible justification for this sort of violence. We hope that appropriate resources are devoted to identifying, prosecuting, and punishing those responsible for Ms Leniata's murder.’

(Courtesy: AP)

Post a Comment