Woman Burned Alive for Witchcraft in Papua New Guinea

A woman in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea has been burned alive for supposed witchcraft

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Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

An aerial view of the Bismarck Range in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

A woman accused of sorcery was tortured, burned and set on fire on Wednesday in Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, reports Australia’s Courier Mail. Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old mother of one, was accused of sorcery by the relatives of a six-year-old boy who had died the previous day. Both of Papua New Guinea’s national newspapers ran front-page stories with photos depicting Leniata burning in a mass of flames. Witnesses spoke of how the woman was tortured with a hot iron rod, bound and doused in gasoline before being thrown on a heap of rubbish and set on fire.

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Local police and firefighters claim they were unable to help the women due to the large crowds that gathered to watch, writes the BBC. “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,” Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said in a statement, writes the Courier Mail. Police spokesperson Dominic Kakas explained how sorcery-related killings have become “an ongoing problem and has been in the spotlight for some time now.”

An Oxfam report in 2010 found that beliefs in sorcery and the practice of witchcraft are not uncommon in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Many people “do not accept natural causes as an explanation for misfortune, illness, accidents or death,” the report states. Instead, some blame their problems on sorcery or black magic – sanguma as it is known in the local language. In 2012, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, highlighted the “brutality of assaults perpetrated against suspected sorcerers, which in many cases include torture, rape, mutilations and murder.”

“The accusations of sorcery,” Manjoo said, “are commonly used to take away women’s land and/or their property.”

A representative of the U.S. embassy in the capital Port Moresby has condemned the killing of Ms. Leniata as “brutal murder” and evidence of “pervasive gender-based violence” in Papua New Guinea, according to the BBC.

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16 comments
rebbrow67@gmail.com
rebbrow67@gmail.com

Ambulance sirens should have been ablaze, with police cutting through the crowd with batons.  No human being should suffer this way and if the men had been beaten on the spot, and the same for anyone else who wants to bully people (male or fenale), it would send the "no to human crime" message and try to niip this sadistic behavior in the bud!  We must not fear the reaper.  We all have to answer for our actions some day.   Louisville, Kentucky  USA  

jonny
jonny

It is just unbelievable that people cannot see the obvious. This isn't about violence against women. This is about violence against children by demonic mothers who want robotic slaves to kill, suffer, rape and die to please them. This is a love crime. This woman would have made an enemy of another woman, perhaps for having what the other woman wanted. 

The other woman then called her a witch. Why would anyone fear mysticism if they were not terrorised by their mother's fear of reality? The men were doing the bidding of whomever raised them to fear what isn't real. They were bred to be slaves in love with a mother whom they know to be saint. Humans only know what they're told. A child made to love a saint has a demonic slave-owner for a mother. Children must love themselves.

Those made to love Evil will know nothing worth knowing. They'll be kept stupid and mystical and sentimental, for the purpose of control. This is a love crime. This woman was killed by the victims of a demon that raised slaves to love her and please her, to suffer for her and inflict suffering for her. She couldn't very well suffer to please herself. No one suffers to please themselves. Violence and war are selfless pursuits, love crimes. Love for a mother = Hate for all the mother hates. 

timedweller
timedweller

God Bless this Woman, God bless your soul Kepari Leniata. May the Angels watch over your child. 

As for the animals that committed this crime, May the authorities hunt you down and deal with you as the animal that you are. And for those who watched and did nothing Damn You To !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From someone who shares this planet I say to  Kepari Leniata, I am so sorry, please God Bless You.

Michael

USA, Wisconsin

MarkRamos
MarkRamos

I am from the Philippines where the people around me talked about kulam or  black magic.  Many do not believe in it and I didnt neither till it came to me.   Eleven years ago someone I used to know started bothering me.  It started with non-stop non-stop noises very loud,and vibrations and him and others I used to know either singing chanting or telling me things.  It was accompanied by other irritating feelings throughout my body, like someone inside me inflicting all sorts of pain.   It was very intense in the very beginning  had a hard time sleeping and felt very sick all the time.   It was meant to disable and kill and they have been known to succeed.   I was in and out of psychiatric wards and jails.  

It made me turned to God and avail of its armor of righteousness, prayer and meditation.  I had been made to realize that there really are angels and demons around and made me believe in an afterlife and in a place of everlasting joy or never ending suffering.  And I am very grateful that eleven years later I am still around praising the Creator's might and power.    

BenMiller
BenMiller

While I believe organized religion is mostly to blame for acts such as this, it's weird how people who say they're anti-religion only blame christianity.  This whole anti-christian thing going on is shrouding the fact that muslims do this kind of thing every day, beheadings, stonings, etc. of people (mostly women) but yet there isn't near the negativity towards them as christians.  Christians committing these acts are few and far between nowadays, we better start keeping an eye on all religious groups because there are a hell of a lot more dangerous ones out there than christians

BikashChakravarty
BikashChakravarty

In India apart from burning such so called witches we also burn young brides for dowry.Papua New Guinea can't upstage us.

CatherineCathyClucas
CatherineCathyClucas

In the past in Europe it was not uncommon to believe that illness was caused by evil spirits, or people putting the evil eye on something. In a way it is logical at a time when people had no scientific understanding of the cause of many diseases they could be thought of as 'unseen evil forces'. Those of us who have been lucky enough to have had an education now know that these 'unseen forces' that cause illness and death are microbes such as bacteria, viruses. Mixed with this is the culture, I do not know a great deal about the culture of PNG but I would imagine, it is still (in some areas) isolated, the culture has aspects of ancient beliefs ingrained into the present day culture. Education and literacy are important for the up and coming generations.....so that hopefully such acts as these stop. Long term permanent change can only really happen from within the culture and from the people within it....not from external agencies. A  very sad day for that young mother........in the 1500s AD  in Castletown, Isle of Man a young mother and her son were burnt to death for sorcery. 500 years later.......it is sadly still happening. 

meelasrisay
meelasrisay

I can not believe it.  I thought it was only stories of old Europe.  Nothing is written about the barbarians and their punishment?

Oafling
Oafling

When I read the first part of the headline I could have sworn it said this took place in Papua, Alabama. 

Clark_Nova
Clark_Nova

The government should exterminate the entire village.

KateHall
KateHall

I am ashamed to have called these native people our friends. This is the ultimate offence in stupidity and ignorance. As an Australian, I hang my head in shame.

jonny
jonny

@timedweller They're mindless beasts, utterly worthless vermin that should be made to Rest In Peace, without pain or judging or hatred or scorn. After all, they were raised to be that way. They were broken the one and only disturbance of the peace; a mother that lies to her children.

Do not damn those who have been rendered helpless by people like you, who ignore truth they cannot accept nor counter. What's your excuse for saying nothing as mothers breed suffering with their evil, needy lies?