8 Apr 2013

Bougainville human rights advocates say government must protect against sorcery violence

3:08 pm on 8 April 2013

Human rights advocates in Papua New Guinea's autonomous Bougainville province are calling on the government to provide more police officers to protect people from sorcery related killings.

The North Bougainville Human Rights Committee is condemning the recent killing of Helen Rumbali and the kidnap of her sister and two nieces in Bana District.

They had been accused of sorcery.

The chairperson of the Committee Helen Hakena says the Bougainville government must do more to protect people from such violence.

"We are calling for more policemen to go into those areas. But the police are saying they cannot because they have been shot at. So because the police are not armed they have withdrawn from that area. But for us women, we are saying that police have a responsibility as a government agency to protect its civilians."

Helen Hakena says she believes a greater police presence in Bana District will be enough to prompt people to respect the law.