An article on The Telegraph reveals that two elderly Papua New Guinea women accused of witchcraft were nearly burned at the stake when they were seized, tied to poles and forced to look on as the crowd prepared to set them on fire. The incident occurred in Mount Hagen: The same location where a 20-year-old mother was stripped of her clothing, branded with an iron, doused with gas, thrown on a pile of trash and lit on fire just last week. In the newest case occurring this week, the two elderly victims of the attack were accused of killing an eight-year-old female by means of sorcery.
An article on Times Live explains that a “glassman,” a person who allegedly has supernatural abilities, accused the two elderly females of witchcraft and of killing the young girl. According to Teddy Tei, the Assistant Police Commissioner, the deceased girl’s family had hired the glassman and his predictions about the girl’s death were merely a form of exploitation. Believing the glassman, the girl’s relatives tied the elderly women to poles in preparation for a public burning. In the mob preparing to kill the elderly victims, there were two people actually responsible for the gang rape and death of the eight-year-old girl.
After receiving a tip, police stopped the crime and arrested 20 people. According to Teddy Tei, the Assistant Police Commissioner, the deceased girl’s family had hired the glassman. His supernatural predictions about the girl’s death were merely a form of exploitation.
On Sky News, it’s revealed that in Papua New Guinea, beliefs in witchcraft and sorcery are widespread, with many people refusing to believe that illness, death or other misfortunes can be attributed to natural causes. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill spoke about the recent witch-killings in the region, calling them “barbaric.” He has instructed Papua New Guinea police to do what is necessary to ensure justice.
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