Villagers kill ‘sorcerers’

National, Normal


THREE men from Sandaun province were tortured and beaten to death by a whole community in Framin village, Telefomin, Sandaun province, for allegedly performing witchcraft on a local, who died on Sept 1.
Before they were killed, they were locked up at the Tabubil police cell, which is the nearest station for safety reasons, according to the Western province provincial police commander, Insp Peter Philip.
Insp Philip said due to the remoteness of the area nearing the border, the Western province police stretched its arms to also cater one-quarter for Sandaun province.
He said while the accused were in police custody, community leaders negotiated for their release, assuring them that no harm would come on the men.
They were later released and taken along with the dead to Framin a week after on.
The group travelled via air before landing at their destination, Framin.
The whole community, who were at the airstrip, surrounded the plane when it drew to a halt. 
After the exit doors opened for passengers to disembark, members of the community “took out” the three men and wound chains to their necks before torturing them using iron rods, bush knives, axes and anything they could lay their hands on.
They were later killed that night.
Police reports indicated that two bodies were found and buried but the third person is missing and is believed to have been murdered and thrown into the Sepik River.
No reports have been forwarded since.
The matter was reported to police on Tuesday.
The situation remains tense while a community member will be heading into the area to assess the situation.