UN Human Rights Office calls for government intervention following Papua New Guinea sorcery killing

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The United Nations human rights office is urging authorities in Papua New Guinea to take urgent action to stop vigilante attacks on people accused of sorcery. This follows reports that a 20 year old woman was tortured and killed in Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea on 6th February.

The woman was apparently burned alive in front of a crowd by relatives of a six-year old boy whom she was accused of using sorcery to kill.

Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the UN human rights office, says that Papua New Guinea's government must act to prevent further cases through education, by providing protection to people accused of sorcery and witnesses of sorcery-related killings, and by providing medical treatment for victims:

"We note with great concern that this case adds to the growing pattern of vigilante attacks and killings of persons accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea. We urge the Government to put an end to these crimes and to bring perpetrators of attacks and killings to justice through thorough, prompt and impartial investigations in accordance with international law."

The human rights office is also encouraging authorities to repeal the Sorcery Act so that sorcery is no longer classed as a crime.

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva.

Duration: 1’14″

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