Two charged in Papua New Guinea ‘witch’ burning

The Associated Press broke the story Wednesday that police of Papua New Guinea have charged two people with the horrifying killing of a woman who was accused of using witchcraft.

Janet Ware and Andrew Wateawere charged with murdering KepariLeniata, a 20-year-old mother of one, who was tortured with ahot rod, stripped and doused in gasoline before being lit aflame on top of a pile of car tires and trash. This horrific event took place in front of hundreds of people, including young children.

Earlier this month Leniatahad been accused of using witchcraft when a 6-year-old passed away in a hospital. His relatives (Ware and Watea) accused Leniata of the act. Her accusers are believed to be the boy’s mother and uncle according to a statement made by the police.

The duo was charged on Monday, but more than 40 people were detained and questionedlast week in connection with Leniata’s death. While many were released due to lack of evidence the police have been reported saying that more arrests are expected.

In this rural area witchcraft is often blamed for unexplained misfortunes, but the brutal killing was met with outrage across this island nation. Many officials condemned the act, including the prime minister, police and various diplomats.

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