Baki warns: Village-style justice not tolerated


By Gynnie Kero
Police Commissioner Gari Baki says no one has the right to take the law into their hands regardless of the reason or the situation.
His comments relate to recent torture and killings of people, especially women, accused of practising sorcery.
Baki said anyone who tortured or killed another person whom they suspected of practising sorcery would be arrested and charged with committing a criminal offence.
“This witch-hunt practice and vigilante-style of justice must stop. I am calling on all policemen and women around PNG to arrest anyone who assaults, injures, tortures or kills another person over sorcery allegations,” the commissioner said.
During the past week, at 8-Mile in the Moresby Northeast suburb of Port Moresby, the family of a young man from Wabag, Enga claimed the young man died as a result of sorcery or black magic. They tortured and killed a woman and burnt several houses in retaliation.
“This torture and killing is unjustifiable and is illegal. I want those responsible to be arrested and charged immediately,” Baki said.
He said the belief in sorcery is a thing of the past.  “We are now in the 21st Century with the modern healthcare system in place, so any death must be related to an illness and not necessarily sorcery,” he said.
Baki said the PNG Criminal Code of 2013, Section 299A, now facilitated the maximum penalty of death and would apply to those who committed wilful murder on anyone who was accused of sorcery.
He said the law applied to everyone.