A woman was burned alive in Papua New Guinea after being accused of practicing witchcraft. According to a Feb. 8 Yahoo! News report, hundreds of witnesses watched as a mob stripped, tortured, bound and set fire to a woman on Wednesday.
Witchcraft is often blamed for unexplained occurrences in Papua New Guinea and repercussions for alleged sorcery have gotten very violent on multiple occasions in recent years. Kepari Leniatra, 20, was accused of being a witch by the family of a 6-year-old boy who died the day before the incident.
Despite her murder happening on the street in front of hundreds of people in daylight, none of the witnesses have cooperated with police, so no arrests have been made. The victims husband is a prime suspect, however, it is estimated that at least 50 people were part of the mob that attacked Kepari.
Prime Minister Pete O'Neill has instructed police to do whatever they can to bring the murderers to justice. He said, "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 was ruled by Australia until it became independent in 1975. Murder is punishable by death in the country, but no one has been put to death since they became independent.