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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 (31-40):
toomanypoodles
by Ruby Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 2:58 AM

 I scrolled past the pic....  That's horrible.  So much for freedom to practice your religion in New Guinea, huh?  Wow.  Poor woman. 

Neuro
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 3:11 AM

It's New Guinea. Not exactly the most civilized country out there and it will never be until these archaic, bullshit attitudes change. We can only hope that the law handles it in their country unless anyone here is up for starting another senseless conflict with another country because we don't agree with their ways.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 4:41 AM
Quoting toomanypoodles:

So much for freedom to practice your religion in New Guinea, huh?  Wow.

Belief in sorcery is strongly rooted in Papua New Guinea. Many believe in the existence of sangumas, witches, sorcerers, or people with magical powers. Sangumas are accused of invoking curses, hexes, and spells to bring misfortune to their villages. These victims are held responsible for occurrences where natural explanations can be offered but aren’t recognized. Sangumas are often blamed for natural disasters and seemingly inexplicable deaths, for example, from cancer or HIV/AIDS.

The legal proceedings that follow the accusation are a sham. The victims are usually tried by church pastors and unqualified officials presiding over a kangaroo court. The inevitable punishment is execution, performed immediately in a public place by a frenzied group of tribespeople. Victims are sometimes hanged, stoned, shot, beheaded, butchered, buried alive, or burned at the stake after being doused with gasoline and set on fire. Others escape death but suffer attempted murder, sexual abuse, and torture, often to extract a confession.

Disturbingly, accusations of witchcraft are not invariably indicative of superstitious belief. Sometimes there are ulterior motives underlying the claims. Some deaths are crimes of vengeance or of an accuser seeking resolution in an ownership dispute. Some murders are drug-related.

(source)

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 4:44 AM
Quoting Neuro:

It's New Guinea. Not exactly the most civilized country out there and it will never be until these archaic, bullshit attitudes change.

Alas, belief in magic is common.  It is mentioned in the Bible and the Qur'an.   People DO believe in curses, spells, evil spirits and furmulaic prayers of protection.   Over 50% of the population believes in astrology.

This is just the dark side of that 'harmless' irrational belief.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 4:48 AM
Quoting gammie:

Why don't women fight back?

The tragedy unfolded after Miss Leniata's young neighbour fell sick on Tuesday morning. He complained of pains in the stomach and chest and was taken to Mt Hagen hospital where he died a few hours later.

Relatives of the boy were suspicious that witchcraft was involved in the death and learned that two women had gone into hiding in the jungle.

After they were tracked down, the pair admitted they practised sorcery but had nothing to do with the boy's death. Miss Leniata, they said, was the person responsible.

The boy's family went to her hut at 7am on Wednesday, stripped her and dragged her away to torture and death.


So, basically, two women who had been accused put the finger on Leniata in order to save their own lives.   The first Leniata knew of anything is when a mob stormed her hut early in the morning.   How exactly could she fight back?
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM
If PNG repeal the Sorcery Act, those two will get one year in jail. One year in jail for torturous death of young mother - it's joke!



Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting gammie:

Why don't women fight back?

The tragedy unfolded after Miss Leniata's
young neighbour fell sick on Tuesday morning. He complained of pains in
the stomach and chest and was taken to Mt Hagen hospital where he died a
few hours later.

Relatives of the boy were suspicious
that witchcraft was involved in the death and learned that two women had
gone into hiding in the jungle.

After they were tracked down, the pair admitted they practised sorcery but had nothing to do with the boy's death. Miss Leniata, they said, was the person responsible.


The boy's family went to her hut at 7am on Wednesday, stripped her and dragged her away to torture and death.


So, basically, two women who had been accused put the finger on Leniata in order to save their own lives.   The first Leniata knew of anything is when a mob stormed her hut early in the morning.   How exactly could she fight back?


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Radarma
by "OneDar" on Feb. 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM

 fucking barbaric.

gammie
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 11:54 AM


What goes around comes around. So if you don't want this to happen to you,you (women) should stand up foreach other.

For me I would rather die fighting than sitting in my hut waiting for the men to come and get me. 

Yes I do understand this is years of abuse and they don't know anything else.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting gammie:

Why don't women fight back?

The tragedy unfolded after Miss Leniata's young neighbour fell sick on Tuesday morning. He complained of pains in the stomach and chest and was taken to Mt Hagen hospital where he died a few hours later.

Relatives of the boy were suspicious that witchcraft was involved in the death and learned that two women had gone into hiding in the jungle.

After they were tracked down, the pair admitted they practised sorcery but had nothing to do with the boy's death. Miss Leniata, they said, was the person responsible.

The boy's family went to her hut at 7am on Wednesday, stripped her and dragged her away to torture and death.


So, basically, two women who had been accused put the finger on Leniata in order to save their own lives.   The first Leniata knew of anything is when a mob stormed her hut early in the morning.   How exactly could she fight back?



futureshock
by Ruby Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM


Quoting Radarma:

 fucking barbaric.

Yup.

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM


Quoting annabl1970:


I am literally sick to my stomach.

How police couldn't intervene? PGN policemen doesn't know how to shoot?

Quoting soonergirl980:


Yeah it is disgusting. If I hadn't already lost faith in most of humanity a long time ago I would probably be more suprised.

Quoting annabl1970:


There are kids in crowd watching it throwing up

Quoting soonergirl980:

There are no words.







Firefighters tried but the crowd pushed them away.

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