The National, Thursday 04th April, 2013
By PISAI GUMAR
SIX women and a man accused of sorcery were tortured and burnt as Easter sacrifices to eradicate the practice in Merep village in Nipa district, Southern Highlands, last Thursday, it has been claimed.
Komape Lap, 54, claimed in Lae yesterday that he fought with their torturers and escaped to the Morobean capital to reveal what happened.
Although these dramatic claims could not be corroborated with Mendi police, Komape showed scars on his face and buttocks as proof of his torture.
He named the six women he left to the mercy of the persecutors as Sarah Henry, Koalis Kongop, Pisim Komape, Papim Komape, and Ipopi Pep, wife of a village court chairman and her daughter.
The group had their hands tied, were stripped naked, forced to sit down on hot roofing iron over a fire and had hot rods pushed into their genitals to confess to sorcery, Lap claimed.
He said he left his two wives to their fate in the hands of the torturers and escaped.
This is the second torture he has endured, he claimed.
“I am seeking justice and protection for my life including others who are alleged to practice sorcery, as our lives are in great danger. Without proof or evidence, we were suspected, tortured and many lives were lost.
“The torturers with hot iron rods, shoved them into women’s genitals including me, urging us to admit.
“In the process, I broke loose, fought and escaped, leaving behind my two wives Pisim and Papim with four women, all naked.
“I am unable to comment further … either the women were killed
or still alive.”
Lap was accompanied by a relative who asked to remain anonymous.
They said family and personal properties including houses, domesticated animals, fresh food and coffee gardens were destroyed.
“Our relatives could not defend us for fear of their lives,” he said.
His first torture was with first wife Sal and daughter Nongkang was last January where Sal was burnt to death and Nongkang was tied and thrown into the Engala cave. She died too.
Lap then married Pisim and Papim and this time around they all were blamed for the death of a church elder this year and tortured.
Southern Highlands police commander Supt Kaiglo Ambane said he was never made aware of the incident and needed to verify with Nipa police.