Quantcast

«

»

Apr 09 2013

Witch hunter – Papua New Guinea

Two women were tortured and killed in Papua New Guinea a few days ago after an angry mob decided to accuse them of witchcraft.

Warning!

TW – Violence and Rape

Police couldn’t save these women and were forced to give them over to the mob after they were attacked and driven from their station.

The women were then taken to Lopele village  on Bougainville and were accused of murdering a former village teacher through sorcery and sentenced by the mob. They were then tortured with knives and axes. Police then tried to negotiate and force the release of these women but were too late. They were outnumbered and were easily held at bay while the mob beheaded the two women.

Violence against women in Papua New Guinea is considered near endemic and fears over witchcraft abound in a culture where there are statutes against sorcery.

Just this March, Six women and a man were grabbed during an Easter Witch-hunt in the Southern Highlands. They were stripped, tied up and tortured with hot iron rods around the genitals. The man managed to escape and survive. The women’s fate is unknown. It is assumed they did not survive and so far the murderers have not been prosecuted.

In February, a 20 year old woman was burned to death after being doused in petrol by the family of a dead boy while claiming she was the witch who killed him.

In July last year, 29 people were arrested as part of a “gang of witch hunters” who not only killed women but took part in traditional cannibalism.

This is a major problem in a country where there is a genuine bonafide “Sorcery Act”. The mere existence of such an act is tacit implication that sorcery is a “real fucking thing” rather than magic tricks at best and fear of the unknown at worst. The government should work to remove this law from the books and reduce “sorcery” related violence by education while providing survivors of such violence with proper support and healthcare. In addition? Women’s rights need to start and education with regards to this horrible violence needs to take place.

At the moment though? Sorcery accusations seems to be a great way to attack someone who is disliked and get away with it.

5 comments

2 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Tabby Lavalamp

    And that someone is usually a woman. I was genuinely surprised to read that a man was one of the accused.

  2. 2
    Sercee

    Tabby, he was probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time (i.e. with one or more of the women when the mob came) and maybe even tried to defend her. Thus, he becomes an accomplice – guilty by association. :(

  3. 3
    Avicenna

    Plenty of men were accused of witchcraft too. It’s just that we are more aware of “women” in Witchcraft due to Salem. In Africa? It’s 50:50, as is in India. Witchcraft is generally gender free.

    PNG apparently has an issue with violence against women and that spills over into witchcraft accusations.

  4. 4
    busterggi

    You know its just a matter of time before some Christian tv network puts on a ‘reality’ show about this. It’ll go over big in the red states.

  5. 5
    Bishop

    rage fills the heart creating the spark for insanity then follows killing intent!

  1. 6
    Google Alert – Papua New Guinea | PNG Politics Update

    [...] Witch hunter – Papua New Guinea » A Million Gods Violence against women in Papua New Guinea is considered near endemic and fears over witchcraft abound in a culture where there are statutes against … freethoughtblogs.com/…/04/…/witch-hunter-papua-new-guine… [...]

  2. 7
    Papua New Guinea’s New Problem » A Million Gods

    [...] New Guinea’s Witch Hunting Problem has been reported on, but there is a massive trend towards misogyny in the Island Culture judging [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>