Women accused of being witches in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea: Four Women Accused Of Witchcraft, Stripped And Tortured By Mob [Graphic]

A new video has emerged online showing a mob torturing four women in Papua New Guinea for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

The extremely graphic video shows the women being stripped, tied up, and tortured by the mob of men while they are pleading for them to stop. According to The Guardian, the women were accused after a young man fell ill in the Enga province in August. Several social media posts say the women “invisibly” took out the man’s heart, and then put it back after they were tortured, burned, and beaten, apparently proving their guilt.

“There’s no real way they can prove themselves innocent,” a PNG source who has been involved in rescues of victims of sorcery-related violence, told the news site. “Once they’re suspected they’re basically done for, they’ll be tortured and maybe killed as well.”

The translation of the video shows the women begging for mercy. One of them, lying on the ground, says to her attackers, “My son, stop it!”

“Talk out, where did you put it?” the men reply. “Burn her with the wire.”

“I’ve got nothing to do with it,” another woman can be heard saying. “I am a mother with five children.”

“I didn’t eat it! Why are you doing this to me? I was at home cooking food. I didn’t do it,” cries the woman who is tortured most by the group, according to RT.

Sorcery related violence and killings has long been an issue on the island. Despite the government’s efforts to end it, stories of people being accused of witchcraft continue to happen. Many videos and photographs have appeared over recent years, showing the heinous crimes as they occur.

“It’s not police photos or anything of the crime being shared,” said the source who has helped rescue the victims. “It’s actual participants who are there and actually bragging about what they’re doing. It’s kind of like a Abu Ghraib video or something.”

Many people have shared the video on their smartphones, including high school students. The source said it wasn’t because they were horrified by what took place, rather it was them seeking approval for the actions being taken against the women.

“There’s no logic going on in the matter … To try to talk logically, even to students, doesn’t really get you very far. They say, we have evidence and you ask what kind of evidence and they say it’s invisible evidence you can’t see it,” he said. “It’s hard to argue against that.”

The belief in witchcraft remains strong in the country, and has spread to other parts of the country where the beliefs were not originally.

“It’s very hard for police to act when whole community is involved, and there’s no witness to testify,” Samuel Basil, the PNG deputy opposition leader, said.

“We have a culture, a Melanesian culture, where some people very strongly believe in sorcery, including some very educated people. I do not believe in that but I’m sure I have very educated relatives who believe in sorcery,” he said. “It’s very hard to fight right now, but I will raise this in parliament and help members of parliament who want to put up tougher laws.”

It is believed that at least one woman died after the ordeal, but the death has not been confirmed.

[Photo via Shutterstock]

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