Police replace murder charge

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POLICE have replaced the attempted murder charge on the woman who tortured seven-year-old Angelyn Andrew with causing grievous bodily harm, Western Highlands family sexual violence unit officer-in-charge Betty Ohonu told The National yesterday.
“The court hearing today was, thus, postponed to tomorrow (today),” she said.
Ohonu said the prosecuting officer had advised the change in the charge and the changes had been made and the court documents returned to the prosecution for today’s hearing. The suspect, Rosemary Jauke, has been locked up in the Mt Hagen Police Station awaiting court hearing.
Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea Child Protection Alliance wants the Government to push for the highest penalty on those found guilty of committing violence against children.
The alliance, comprising Save the Children, Cheshire Disability Services, Child Fund, Unicef, Equal Playing Field, World Vision and PNG Tribal Foundation, said in a joint statement in response to the recent sorcery-related torture of seven-year-old Angelyn Andrew in Western Highlands.
The girl endured about two years of torture and suffered knife wounds, burns from heated iron rods and several broken bones.
“We are committed to advocating for the protection of children, condemn all violence against children and we want heavier penalties to be imposed on perpetrators of violence,” they said.
They said the physical abuses and torture of children in recent days and months were intolerable, violating human rights and brutality.
“The UN convention on rights of the child states that children have the right to grow up without violence and abuse in any form.
“Nevertheless, it is estimated that 75 per cent of children in Papua New Guinea experience some form of violence at some point during their childhood.
“We are concerned that children who have experienced abuse often suffer severe physical and psychological trauma that have devastating short and long-term consequences on their mental and physical health and development,” the statement read.
The alliance acknowledges the Government’s ongoing efforts in supporting child survivors of abuse, exploitation and violence.
However, urgent attention should be given to address criminal acts of abuse against children.
They appealed to the Government and donor agencies to help ensure greater and more sustainable investment for the prevention and responses to all forms of violence against children.