Small girl allegedly tortured over ‘sanguma’ accusations

A small girl was reportedly brutally tortured in Enga Province following sanguma (sorcery) accusations.

The girl, thought to be about six years old, suffered at the hands of several men in the Surinki area when she was rescued in a joint operation.

The operation was carried out yesterday with Lutheran missionary, Anton Lutz, and the Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation.

“The child was in the village when she was attacked,” Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation president, Gary Bustin, told Loop PNG.

“She is now receiving medical attention for wounds and burns sustained all over her body from bush knives that were heated by fire.”

Furthermore, the Foundation revealed that she is the daughter of the late Leniata Kepari, who was falsely accused of sanguma in 2013 and burned to death by a mob in Mt. Hagen.

“Unfortunately cases of torture and murder, especially for vulnerable women, based on false accusations of sorcery (sanguma) have risen across PNG dramatically since 2013.”

The Foundation said there were no prosecutions of the known killers of Leniata and now her own child has paid the price for the lack of justice.

“Please note that most Papua New Guineans are as shocked and angry over this as anyone,” stated Bustin.

“This is being done by a small percentage of the population. The incident was reported to the police and Provincial Government. We have also reported it to the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Police.”

Laws from both the Family Protection Act and the Lukautim Pikinini Act have been violated with the torture of this small child and the Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation has demanded that the perpetrators be arrested and prosecuted immediately.

“The only way to stop this barbaric behaviour is through arrests and prosecution of those responsible.

“Until this happens, Papua New Guinea will be known as the nation that not only tortures falsely accused ‘witches’ but now even tortures innocent children!”

Meanwhile, police have been contacted but are yet to issue a statement.

(Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation picture showing burns on the girl’s back)

Carmella Gware
Breaking News