Torture and killing upset human rights watchdog in Jiwaka


THE director of Voice for Change, a women’s human rights organisation in Jiwaka, has spoken out strongly against killing, abusing or torturing people through sorcery, witchcraft or ‘sanguma’ accusations.
Lilly Be’Soer said killing or torturing people accused of practising sorcery was a violation of human rights laws and God’s law.
“As a human rights organisation, we are upset to see the marginalised members of the community becoming the main target of sorcery accusations,” Be’Soer said.
“Widows, orphanages, old people, the weak and poor and those who have huge land or property and  are the only son or daughter in the family to inherit all them, are always becoming victims.
“We are concerned because they have no one to defend them. They are vulnerable to attack and abuse which impacts their lives negatively in the long term.”
Be’Soer said PNG was a Christian country and its people should uphold Christian principles.
“We have very effective laws in place to protect and uphold human rights but it is not being implemented,” she said.
“In Jiwaka we must all stop sorcery violence and violence against our women and girls. We must uphold peace and respect at all times.”
Be’Soer called on all leaders at the local, district, provincial and national levels to mobilise and address sorcery-related violence as well as sexual and domestic violence.
She said there were no protection mechanisms in place in Jiwaka for survivors of violence to seek help and counselling. “A lot of our women and girls and vulnerable members of the community are suffering silently. They need protection.”