A woman from the highlands of Papua New Guinea was murdered after being accused of being a witch and being involved in an extra material affair. She was tied to a pole, covered in propellant and set aflame.
Local authorities are blaming the murder on the island’s long-standing superstitions, fear of black magic and ongoing Aids epidemic.
Papua New Guinea has a population of around six million, Aids infection rates as so high in the island that it accounts for 90% of all the HIV infections in the Oceania region.
Aids and HIV is mistaken for witchcraft when victims begin to contract diseases due to the breakdown of their antibodies and become gaunt and sallow.
It is The Post Courier reports that one of the men involved in the witchcraft murder is believed by locals to have contracted Aids from the victim.
Simon Kauba, highlands police chief, is quoted as saying, “I don’t know the right words to describe it but it’s barbaric. Can you find the best words to describe such acts that are rampant here?”
In Pure Spirit
In a twist to this upsetting news there those people who’ve said that the murdered woman simply subject to local traditions. The Post Courier’s response to that was to says, “Those who say she got primitive justice should pause to think, it could be you next on that truckload of burning tyres.”
What do you think? Do we have a responsibility to offer education to tribes still tucked away in the highlands of Papua New Guinea or would that simply result in the destruction of their local ways and tradition?