By PHOEBE GWANGILO
A SEVEN-year-old girl believed to have been tortured over at least two years by a relative after being accused of practising sorcery has been rescued and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.
Western Highlands police commander Jacob Kamiak could not comment on the matter last night as he said he was out on an operation.
But the PNG Tribal Foundation confirmed in a statement yesterday that two weeks ago, Angelyn Andrew was dropped off at the Bukapena health center in Western Highlands by the relative.
Investigation by the foundation special project manager Ruth Kissam confirmed that Angelyn had been accused of practising sorcery and tortured over a period of time by the female relative.
She was found to have multiple fractures to her hands, feet and other parts of her body.
“She had knife wounds all over her body and several burns on her lips and genital,” Kassam said.
She was finally rescued two weeks ago and taken care of by the Tribal Foundation. She was admitted at the Mt Hagen General Hospital.
The foundation working with the police managed to get the female relatives arrested and charged on Friday, July 16.
The foundation is working with the police and the special parliamentary committee on gender-based violence on the case.
Once Angeline’s health is stable, they plan to move her to a safe place with a different family member.
She is the second child known to have been tortured over false sorcery accusations. In 2017, the foundation also rescued a girl facing a similar situation.
Attempts by The National to get comments from police in Western Highlands concerning the incident were unsuccessful.
Earlier this month, Evangelical Lutheran Church head bishop Rev Dr Jack Urame told The National that it was un-Christian to mix Christianity with sorcery.
“Sorcery, Christianity and money are combined to strengthen the culture of sorcery accusations and it is an emerging trend in our communities today,” he said.
“Sorcery is commercialised under the pretext of Christianity and people who claim to be diviners or glasman, glasmeri and witchdoctors use sorcery to make money.
“They claim to have the knowledge of revealing the causes of sickness or death or have the power to heal or reverse negative effects of sorcery.”
By PHOEBE GWANGILO