Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea is still burning “sorcerers” at the stake

Women’s rights advocate and former schoolteacher Helen Rumbali, her sister Nikono, and Nikono’s two teenage daughters were held captive and tortured with knives and axes for three days before the mob beheaded Helen and seriously injured Nikono. Finally, after another fortnight of tense hostage negotiations with members of the local community, police managed to secure the release of the remaining three captives on Monday. Over the past few years, incidents like these have become common in Papua New Guinea. Late last month, six women accused of sorcery were tortured with hot irons as part of an Easter “sacrifice” in a village in the Southern Highlands. Yet despite the growing problem, sorcery-related violence often goes unreported. Read more here.

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