Two people have been charged with burning an alleged “witch” alive in front of a angry mob in Papua New Guinea.
Authorities have charged 28-year-old Janet Ware and 33-year-old Andrew Watea with the murder of a woman they believed was practicing witchcraft. The Daily Mail reports that the suspects are the mother and uncle of a young boy many thought died as a result of sorcery.
Police explained that Ware and Watea also tied up two elderly women they believed were also practicing witchcraft. However, officers arrived at the scene before the pair could set them on fire.
Superintendent Martin Lakari said the suspects were charged after being questioned by authorities. Although they have both Ware and Watea in custody, Lakari said investigations are still underway.
The police commander said:
“We are not finished from here. We are continuing investigations into these cases and if any evidence or reports come in later saying that other people involved are still at large, we will also arrest them.”
According to The Associated Press, the pair charged with killing 20-year-old Kepari Leniata are two of roughly 40 suspects police rounded up following the burning. However, the majority of these individuals were released due to a lack of evidence.
The Inquisitr previously reported that Laniata was stripped naked, tortured, and eventually burned alive after villagers accused her of using witchcraft and sorcery to murder a six-year-old boy. Hundreds of people are believed to have witnessed the murder.
Prime Minister Pete O’Neill said of the brutal killing:
“Barbaric killings connected with alleged sorcery. Violence against women because of this belief that sorcery kills. These are becoming all too common in certain parts of the country.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.”
Although suspects have been arrested, police are still looking for more people who may have played a part in burning this so-called “witch” alive.
[Image by Wikimedia Commons]