Sanguma (sorcery) accusations

Crimes against children should shock PNG!

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.

Child’s torture: Perpetrators yet to be identified

The child was brutally tortured two weeks ago following accusations of sorcery (sanguma).

Acting provincial police commander, Epenes Nili, told Loop PNG that their three separate trips to the remote Tukusanda village proved to be fruitless.

“The people were reluctant to help police,” says Nili.

“We went back second time, third time… no positive response from the community. This makes our job very difficult.”

However, the acting commander was thankful that the little girl is now in a stable condition following her rescue on November 16.

PM outraged over child’s abuse

PM Peter O’Neill said police had been dispatched to investigate the abuse, and any individual who tries to impede the lawful investigation will be arrested.

He stresses such attacks cannot be tolerated and the abusers must be exposed, and this requires leadership from community elders.

“Let’s be clear, sanguma beliefs are absolute rubbish,” the Prime Minister said.

“In the modern day, sanguma is not a real cultural practice, it is a false belief and involves the violent abuse and torture of women and girls by pathetic and perverted individuals.

Enga Governor wants sorcery accusations stamped out

Sir Peter Ipatas says: “This week alone there have been two more incidents of sanguma accusations in Enga Province and more than 20 innocent women, within the space of a month, have been victims of this accusation based violence, including a young child who was tortured near Sirunki.

“I condemn this violence and these false accusations. The accusations must stop now.

“The torturing and murdering must stop now. Enough is enough.”

Sir Peter says accusing someone of sorcery is against the law of PNG, including the torture and murder based on such accusations.

Small girl allegedly tortured over ‘sanguma’ 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.”