Papua New Guinea authorities are charging two people with accusing a woman of burning a woman alive because they claimed she was a witch. The horrific murder was caught on video and uploaded to the Internet where it was millions around the world.
PM Peter O’Neill condemns the murder as “barbaric”. The US Embassy in Port Moresby says it is evidence of an epidemic of violence against women in Papua New Guinea. The U.N. Human Rights office has expressed great concern over the case.
Authorities say they interviewed 40 people in the case, and these arrests probably won’t the last. They say the accused pair are the mother and uncle of a 6-year old boy who died, and they blamed the victim of the incendiary attack of using sorcery against the boy.
Pursuing this case has been difficult for authorities. Police and Firefighters couldn’t save the 20-year old burning victim because they were outnumbered and chased away by the crowd. Police later had to mount a major operation and detain 100 people in order to arrest the two suspects.