Kepari Leniata, a young mother, was burned alive in Papua New Guinea this week after she was accused of being a witch by local townspeople.
Leniata, 20, was tortured and killed in front of a mob of hundreds in the town of Mount Hagen.
According to The Huffington Post, Leniata was stripped naked, coated with gasoline and then burned alive on a pile of trash. She also was tormented with a branding iron before being set on fire.
The horrible deed was carried out by relatives of a young boy who had died earlier in the week. The boy’s relatives blamed the six-year-old boy’s death on Leniata, believing that she had killed him using sorcery.
Efforts by police and firefighters who were attempting to save the woman from her fiery fate were thwarted by the crowd of onlookers. Despite their inability to do anything at the time, police Chief Supt Kaiglo Ambane told local media that those responsible for Leniata's murder would be brought to justice.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has also condemned the despicable act.
“Barbaric killings connected with alleged sorcery. Violence against women because of this belief that sorcery kills," O'Neill said. “These are becoming all too common in certain parts of the country. 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.”
According to reports, many people in the island nation believe in sorcery rather than accept natural causes of death. The belief is so strong that the Sorcery Act was instated in 1971 to formally outlaw the burning of alleged witches.
As is evidenced by this latest incident and s similar occurrence in 2009 when another woman was burned alive for sorcery, the 1971 Sorcery Act is not always obeyed.
Source: The Huffington Post