This PNG Tribal Foundation statement follows the recent brutal torture of a 6-year-old girl in Enga Province.
The Foundation has named her 'Justice', because that is what she deserves under the laws of Papua New Guinea.
Justice is the daughter of the late Leniata Kepari, who was falsely accused of sorcery and then burnt alive in Mt. Hagen in 2013. To this day, no one has been charged and prosecuted for that murder.
“This dark cloud over our country has reached an absolute new low when a child was shockingly a victim of horrible torture,” says PNG Tribal Foundation president, GT Bustin, during a media conference yesterday.
“And again, while many know exactly who carried out this unforgiveable crime, no arrests have been made.
“This must stop. Today!”
The Foundation has come up with the following plans to help the Government uproot this evil.
- Immediate and meaningful funding of PNG’s Sorcery National Action Plan – Since the plan was implemented in July 2015, it has been slow in making impact or move its initiatives forward due to the lack of dedicated and meaningful funding
- Call to action to all provincial governors to sign a declaration condemning accusation based violence and demanding enforcement of the PNG criminal code
- Call to action to all provincial police commanders to sign a declaration condemning accusation based violence and to make arrests in order to implement the PNG criminal code
- Prioritise cases involving children
“It is time for talk to end and change through action to begin,” says Bustin.
“This focused way forward is not complicated nor should it be politically charged in nature.
“We have developed it so it can be simply and rapidly implemented.”
Meanwhile, it was revealed during the press conference that the perpetrators in Justice’s torture have been identified.
Acting Enga PPC, Epenes Nili, who was present at the meet, says police are closely working with the Foundation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
(A PNG Tribal Foundation picture of Justice’s bandage wrapped body. The 6-year-old is slowly recovering at a health facility)