Amnesty calls for action after New Guinea ‘witch’ burnings

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Amnesty International renewed calls for an end to sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea on Friday following a report that six women were tortured with hot irons in an Easter “sacrifice.”


Amnesty said Papua New Guinea police were investigating the incident, but police in Port Moresby were unable to confirm this to AFP.

It comes just weeks after a woman accused of sorcery was burned to death by a mob.

A report in The National newspaper said that six women and a man accused of sorcery were tortured as Easter “sacrifices” in a village in the Southern Highlands on March 28.

The man, Komape Lap, 54, told the newspaper he fought with his attackers and escaped but did not know what had become of the six women, two of whom were his wives.

He said the women had their hands tied, were stripped naked and had hot irons placed “into their genitals” during the ordeal.

Amnesty called on authorities in PNG to prevent and punish such violence.

“The priority must be to find out the fate of the six women,” Amnesty International’s Pacific researcher Kate Schuetze said.

“The perpetrators must also be brought to justice for the abduction and crimes of sexual and other violence, if confirmed.”

Written By: Agence France-Presse
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7 COMMENTS

  1. It reminds you how fragile is civilisation. Witch burnings were acceptable in Europe until the 18c enlightenment. If we continue to complacently accept progress as “linear” then we could slip back into the intellectual dark ages. We are in a minority but fortunately history shows numerous examples where minorities prevail.

  2. Talking of burning witches, I’ve just watched the 1999 film “The Messenger – Joan of Arc” It is easily the best film on this subject as it doesn’t mawkishly accept the “saintliness” of Joan and the shadowy figure of Dustin Hoffman constantly questions the received wisdom of the historical and cultural meme. This is a secular a version as you are likely to get from Hollywood and there are some stunning performances from Milla Jovovich and John Malkovich and of course the wonderful Timothy West.

  3. Don’t know if it has allready been brought up on the site or not. But another similar event was that in Kisii in Kenya where several people were accused of witchcraft and black magic and were therefore tortured and burned alive in a ditch with many dozens (possibly up to hundreds) of onlookers and participants. Part of it was caught on tape and has circulated the web since.

    Watchers beware!! This is footage that is not suitable for ANYONE

    Video

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