Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Police Commissioner Condemns Sorcery Killing In PNG
Woman accused of sorcery tortured, burnt to death

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 7, 2013) – The Papua New Guinea police commissioner, Tom Kulunga, has condemned the killing of a woman in Mt Hagen calling it ’shocking and devilish.’

20 year-old Kepari Leniata was stripped naked, tortured with a hot iron rod, bound, doused in petrol and set on fire on a rubbish heap on Wednesday.

She had been accused of sorcery.

Police spokesperson, Superintendent Dominic Kakas, says they will arrest and prosecute the murderers but the commissioner wants a wider community discussion on how to tackle the issue of sorcery.

"As long as people believe in sorcery and they will tend to take violent action in relation to that we will still have such killings in relation to that. That is why the commissioner is concerned and he wants everyone to sit down and put their heads together and find a way to address this issue so that we can end or stop such senseless killings."

The Commissioner has suggested a special court for sorcery cases and thinks wider awareness through education will help stop the abuse.

[PIR editor’s note: Church leader Bishop David Piso has urged government to come up with laws to stop sorcery-related killings, saying many innocent people have died.]

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