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Accused 'Witch' Kepari Leniata Burned Alive By Mob In Papua New Guinea (GRAPHIC PHOTO)

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Accused 'Witch' Kepari Leniata Burned Alive By Mob In Papua New Guinea (GRAPHIC PHOTO)

The Huffington Post | By Posted: 02/07/2013 4:46 pm EST | Updated: 02/08/2013 11:50 am EST

 
 

A young mother was burned alive in Papua New Guinea this week after townspeople accused her of being a witch.

According to multiple reports, Kepari Leniata, 20, was tortured and killed in front of a mob of hundreds in the town of Mount Hagen. The woman, stripped naked and covered in gasoline, was burned alive on a pile of trash by relatives of a young boy who had died earlier in the week. The relatives had accused Leniata of killing him with sorcery.

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO FOLLOWS

Police and firefighters who tried to save Leniata were chased away by an overwhelming crowd. Agence France-Press writes that the woman "admitted to killing the boy, who died after being [hospitalized] with stomach and chest pains on Tuesday."

(Story continues below)
woman burned alive sorcery
A photo taken on Feb. 6 shows a young mother accused of sorcery who was stripped naked, reportedly tortured with a branding iron, tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres, in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. According to the Post-Courier newspaper she was torched by villagers who claimed she killed a 6-year-old boy through sorcery, with police outnumbered by onlookers and unable to intervene. (AFP / Getty Images)

According to the BBC, police chief Supt Kaiglo Ambane told local media that those responsible for Leniata's murder would be brought to justice.

The U.S. Embassy and Australia's high commissioner have condemned the murder. In a statement featured in a report by the Australian Associated Press, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said that "no one commits such a despicable act."

"Barbaric killings connected with alleged sorcery. Violence against women because of this belief that sorcery kills," O'Neill said, according to the AAP. "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."

AFP notes that many people in the island nation believe in sorcery rather than accept natural causes of death. While the 1971 Sorcery Act technically outlaws the burning of alleged witches, the practice persists. In 2009, another woman was burned alive for alleged sorcery, the news outlet points out.

In a 2009 blog for The Huffington Post, Zama Coursen-Neff, the director of Human Rights Watch's Children's Rights Division, said that that this incident and other similar killings have become indicative a larger, more troubling trend.

She wrote:

In Papua New Guinea, research indicates, two-thirds of women experience domestic violence, and 50 percent of women have experienced forced sex. The Australian development agency AUSAID just issued a new report identifying violence against women as a major barrier to Papua New Guinea's development
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:41 PM
Replies (21-30):
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 8:26 PM

United Nations suggests the repeal of the sorcery act in Papua New Guinea

The United Nations suggests the repeal of the 1971 Sorcery Act in Papua New Guinea, following a heinous crime involving the death of a 20-year-old woman accused of witchcraft and burnt alive.
Credits:
by Jroy5/Wikimedia Commons
 

 reports for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation on Swissinfo.ch that the United Nations formally condemns the Papua New Guinea "sorcery crime" reported earlier this week where a young woman was burnt alive following witchcraft accusations. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner, called Papua New Guinea authorities to demand that the crime be investigated further and that the perpetrators of such a heinous act be brought to justice. Today in a news conference, the United Nations human rights office is also suggesting the repeal of the 1971 Sorcery Act in Papua New Guinea.

In a Feb. 6 incident, Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old mother, was accused of witchcraft for allegedly killing a six-year-old boy by means of sorcery Following the accusations, she was burnt alive on top a pile of garbage and old tires in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Relatives of the deceased boy looked on while the crime was committed and police intervention failed to stop the crime from occurring. Representatives of the U.N. also assert that the crime committed this week is one of a number of "vigilante attacks" on those who face witchcraft allegations.

According to the UN News Centre, the United Nations human rights office is urging the Papua New Guinea government to investigate the crime, and similar crimes, quickly, impartially and thoroughly. Cécile Pouilly, a spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed deep disturbance with the reported crime, stating:

"We urge the government to take urgent action to prevent further cases through education, to provide protection to persons accused of sorcery and witnesses of sorcery-related killings, and to provide medical and psychosocial treatment for victims."

The U.N. is looking to have the Sorcery Act of 1971, making sorcery a crime, repealed. The act some ambiguous wording, suggesting it has been created "to prevent and punish evil practices of sorcery and other similar evil practices, and for other purposes relating to such practices." Further, the act attempts to define the differences between "innocent sorcery" and "forbidden sorcery," with forbidden sorcery carrying a potential punishment of imprisonment for up to, but not exceeding, five years. Meanwhile, false accusations of sorcery can lead to a one year prison sentence for the accuser and the ownership of any "tools" used for sorcery also currently carries a one year prison sentence in Papua New Guinea.

Did you enjoy this article? Please share your thoughts in the comment area and please subscribe to this site by clicking the sign up link below to receive updates about new articles appearing on the Albany Wiccan & Pagan Examiner.

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 8:31 PM

 How the repeal 1971 Sorcery Act will help?

IMO there should be more done to educate people, and severe punishment should be put in place for "lynching"

 

 


Quoting annabl1970:

United Nations suggests the repeal of the sorcery act in Papua New Guinea

The United Nations suggests the repeal of the 1971 Sorcery Act in Papua New Guinea, following a heinous crime involving the death of a 20-year-old woman accused of witchcraft and burnt alive.
Credits:
by Jroy5/Wikimedia Commons
 

 reports for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation on Swissinfo.ch that the United Nations formally condemns the Papua New Guinea "sorcery crime" reported earlier this week where a young woman was burnt alive following witchcraftaccusations. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner, called Papua New Guinea authorities to demand that the crime be investigated further and that the perpetrators of such a heinous act be brought to justice. Today in a news conference, the United Nations human rights office is also suggesting the repeal of the 1971 Sorcery Act in Papua New Guinea.

In a Feb. 6 incident, Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old mother, was accused of witchcraft for allegedly killing a six-year-old boy by means of sorcery Following the accusations, she was burnt alive on top a pile of garbage and old tires in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Relatives of the deceased boy looked on while the crime was committed and police intervention failed to stop the crime from occurring. Representatives of the U.N. also assert that the crime committed this week is one of a number of "vigilante attacks" on those who face witchcraft allegations.

According to the UN News Centre, the United Nations human rights office is urging the Papua New Guinea government to investigate the crime, and similar crimes, quickly, impartially and thoroughly. Cécile Pouilly, a spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed deep disturbance with the reported crime, stating:

"We urge the government to take urgent action to prevent further cases through education, to provide protection to persons accused of sorcery and witnesses of sorcery-related killings, and to provide medical and psychosocial treatment for victims."

The U.N. is looking to have the Sorcery Act of 1971, making sorcery a crime, repealed. The act some ambiguous wording, suggesting it has been created "to prevent and punish evil practices of sorcery and other similar evil practices, and for other purposes relating to such practices." Further, the act attempts to define the differences between "innocent sorcery" and "forbidden sorcery," with forbidden sorcery carrying a potential punishment of imprisonment for up to, but not exceeding, five years. Meanwhile, false accusations of sorcery can lead to a one year prison sentence for the accuser and the ownership of any "tools" used for sorcery also currently carries a one year prison sentence in Papua New Guinea.

Did you enjoy this article? Please share your thoughts in the comment area and please subscribe to this site by clicking the sign up link below to receive updates about new articles appearing on the Albany Wiccan & Pagan Examiner.


 

Euphoric
by Thumper kid spanks on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:53 PM

 Sickening.

terpmama
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:08 PM

"...where many people do not accept natural causes as an explanation for misfortune, illness, accidents or death."- many have called this belief barbaric ...


yet god sent hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis... Because we are sinners....


ashellbell
by shellbark on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:10 PM
This really makes me sick to my stomach.
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FrumpyMama
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:13 PM

It's hard to believe that there are parts of the world where people still believe so strongly in this stuff. Where people believe that if they eat certain animals raw they will gain the power of the animal and turn in to the animal. This kind of belief system makes me sick.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:24 PM

There are some absolutely insane people in this world. 

How horrible.

mmtosam06
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:42 PM
:/ horrible
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..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:52 PM
I cried.

This happens in more places than people care to admit. It's sad and scary.
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Feb. 9, 2013 at 1:41 AM
What the Hell.
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