UN denounces 'sorcery' crimes in Papua New Guinea

By REUTERS
February 8, 2013 19:32

GENEVA - A woman was burnt alive in Papua New Guinea this week after townspeople accused her of sorcery, the United Nations said on Friday, citing the "heinous crime" as part of a growing pattern of vigilante attacks on people accused of witchcraft.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on authorities in Papua New Guinea to investigate such crimes and bring their perpetrators to justice.

A 1971 law defining sorcery as a crime in the South Pacific nation should be repealed, Pillay's spokeswoman said.

"We are deeply disturbed by reports of the torture and killing of a 20-year-old woman accused of sorcery in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, on February 6," UN human rights spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told a news briefing in Geneva.


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