2 women suspected of sorcery beheaded in Papua New Guinea
The Post-Courier newspaper said police were present during the killings last week but were outnumbered by an angry mob and could do nothing to prevent the grisly deaths.
“We were helpless. We could not do anything,” Bougainville police inspector Herman Birengka told the paper, saying his officers were threatened when they tried to negotiate the women’s release.
According to Birengka, who described the murders as “barbaric and senseless,” the women were taken captive last Tuesday by relatives of a former school teacher who died recently.
“The two women were rounded up and taken to Lopele village after they were suspected of practising sorcery and blamed for the death of the former teacher, who was from Lopele village,” he said.
They were tortured for three days, suffering knife and axe wounds, before being beheaded in front of the police who had been sent to the village to mediate, the report said.
The killings come just days after another report that six women accused of sorcery were tortured with hot irons in an Easter “sacrifice” in the Southern Highlands.
Last month, a woman accused of sorcery was stripped naked and burned to death by a mob, with Amnesty International stepping up calls for an end to sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea.
Amnesty has urged the government to stamp out the practice in the Pacific nation where there is a widespread belief in sorcery and where many people do not accept natural causes as an explanation for misfortune and death.
There have been several other cases of witchcraft and cannibalism in PNG in recent years, with a man reportedly found eating his screaming, newborn son during a sorcery initiation ceremony in 2011.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94