Laws for sorcery-related killings should be reviewed, says committee

National, Normal

The National,Monday 11th of February, 2013

THE Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) believes laws for sorcery-related violence and killings should be reviewed sooner than later.
Its national programme coordinator Ume Wainetti said lawmakers should do something about it now rather than just talking.
The committee joined the prime minister, local bodies and individuals such as the police and the international community in condemning the brutal killing of a young mother accused of performing sorcery in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands.
She was tortured and burnt alive by relatives of a young boy she had been accused of killing through sorcery.
“The continuous reporting by the media of such brutal killing of women brings international humans rights activists attention to PNG and yet PNG, as a nation, has not taken positive steps to address the issue,” Wainetti said.  
Wainetti, whose organisation is one of the vocal bodies that advocates against the abuse of women and girls, said those involved in the killing must know that every person has a right to be given a fair trial and punished if found guilty.
Wainetti called on the Constitutional Law Reform Commission to consider this killing as a wake-up call and quickly review the laws regarding sorcery-related killings.
She said in many instances, in which such violation of human rights abuse occurred, men involved were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Wainetti said human rights activists in many cases did not get involved because of the fear of retaliation or mob attack.
She said stakeholders should discuss and understand the issue properly in order to address the roots of their causes.