Sunday, April 14, 2013
More women face beheading in Papua New Guinea
Three women - a mother and her daughters - are being held captive and are likely to be decapitated as witches in Papua New Guinea, Amnesty International claims.
Their urgent appeal for action follows the latest revelations that six women and a man were tortured and the women burnt to death in the Southern Highlands and two elderly women have been beheaded on the island of Bougainville in the last week.
Amnesty say that last week Helen Rumbali, a women's rights advocate and former school teacher, was beheaded in front of her community after three days of unspeakable torture.
"Police stood by and watched, reporting that they were unable to intervene to stop the angry mob."
Amnesty say she was accused of sorcery and that acts like the murders were common.
"The law and police inaction effectively condone such violence."
PNG's Sorcery Act offers a reduced sentence if a perpetrator of violent crime uses allegations of sorcery as an excuse.
"Right now another woman and her two daughters have been captured at Lopele, Bana District Southern Bougainville," Amnesty say.
"She has been accused of sorcery. We are deathly scared for the safety of these three women."
They say the mother has already sustained an severe cut to her neck and requires urgent medical care.
Amnesty have appealed to people to send urgent messages to the PNG Government demanding that authorities there act urgently to stop sorcery killings.
They want people to demand that the Bougainville Police Command need to use all available resources to save lives.