Young Woman Suspected of Sorcery Burned Alive
Emilio Lizardo | January 8, 2009 at 05:09 amby
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Locals take matters into their own hands this week when a young woman, said to be 19 or 20-years of age and suspected of sorcery is tied to a tree and burned alive in rural New Guinea.
Woman suspected of witchcraft burned alive
A woman in rural Papua New Guinea was bound and gagged, tied to a log and set ablaze on a pile of tires this week, possibly because villagers suspected her of being a witch, police said Thursday.
Her death adds to a growing list of men and women who have been accused of sorcery and then tortured or killed in the South Pacific island nation, where traditional beliefs hold sway in many regions.
The victims are often scapegoats for someone else's unexplained death -- and bands of tribesmen collude to mete out justice to them for their supposed magical powers, police said.
"We have had quite difficulties in a number of previous incidents convincing people to come forward with information," said Simon Kauba, assistant commissioner of police and commander of the Highlands region, where the killing occurred.
"We are trying to persuade them to help. Somebody lost their mother or daughter or sister Tuesday morning."
Early Tuesday morning, a group of people dragged the woman, believed to be in her late teens to early 20s, to a dumping ground outside the city of Mount Hagen. They stripped her naked, bound her hands and legs, stuffed a cloth in her mouth, tied her to a log and set her on fire, Mauba said.
"When the people living nearby went to the dump site to investigate what caused the fire, they found a human being burning in the flames," he said. "It was ugly."
The country's Post-Courier newspaper reported Thursday that more than 50 people were killed in two Highlands provinces last year for allegedly practicing sorcery.
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