The international community must step up efforts to eradicate witchcraft- and sorcery-related killings in the affected parts of the world. In Africa, India, Nepal and Papua New Guinea brutal attacks and murder of suspected witches are on the rise. And local authorities are unable to intervene and protect victims of witchcraft accusation or stop the wave of sorcery related persecution and execution ravaging countries and communities. When it comes to witchcraft persecution and execution, many countries have failed in their responsibility to protect their citizens and uphold the rule of law. So the international community should step in and bring more pressure to bear on these countries.
Meanwhile, two women have reportedly been beheaded in Papua New Guinea. Earlier this year the gruesome murder of a 20-year-old woman, Kepari Leniata, who was accused of sorcery, attracted international outrage and condemnation.
According to the report, the two women were tortured before they were beheaded. As in the case of Leniata, local police officers were present but could not stop the angry mob from killing the alleged sorcerers. A local police inspector, Herman Birengka, said they were helpless and could not do anything while condemning the killing as 'barbaric and senseless'.
According to him, "The two women were rounded up and taken to Lopele village after they were suspected of practicing sorcery and blamed for the death of the former teacher, who was from Lopele village. They were tortured for three days, suffering knife and axe wounds, before being beheaded in front of the police who had been sent to the village to mediate.'
The beheading of the two women happened days after six women accused of sorcery were tortured with hot irons in an Easter "sacrifice" in the Southern Highlands in the country.
Like many countries in Africa, witch hunting plagues Papua New Guinea. And international community needs to help this nation combat this social disease. International condemnation by the UN, Amnesty International and other human rights groups is not enough. The world must do more to end this cultural scourge. Papua New Guinea needs international assistance in terms of public education, reorientation and law enforcement. In Papua New Guinea, there is a pervasive notion that sorcery is a crime, and that some people can kill others through sorcery or malevolent magic.