By LULU MAGINDE
ARCHBISHOP of Port Moresby Cardinal Sir John Ribat has urged Christians to take more responsibility in the fight against sorcery accusation-related violence (Sarv).
In his message to communities who protected perpetrators of Sarv, Ribat said now was the time to come together as a community.
“Those torturing innocent humans, in most cases women, are often in a group so it should also be a group effort to deal with the perpetrators,” Sir John said.
“If we can encourage our communities to form courageous teams, to be able to face the perpetrators, that is one of the ways to get everyone united on this issue and hold those who torture accountable.”
Cardinal Ribat said churches should be the spearheading groups that would face the group of perpetrators and that it was not just the responsibility of one person.
Echoing this message, Shirley Kaupa, director for human rights for non-governmental organisation, Magna Carter, believed that community ownership was the only solution to end Sarv.
“I think it has to do with the investigation process; for example, if the police arrive at a reported incident site and the community was willing to give up those who committed the crime, that would mean a smoother prosecution process,” she said.
Kaupa said when the community was unwilling to speak up and point out the wrong doers because they feared being attacked themselves, this limited the police capacity to make arrests and for perpetrators to face prosecution.
“As we talk about ownership, the members for Kagua-Erave and Pogera-Laiagam should be speaking out against this and own it,” she said.
“From what I understand, there are leaders who are willing to assist financially, so there should be enough funds to conduct operations and make arrests.”
By LULU MAGINDE