Four women saved from burning in PNG

7:13 am on 29 July 2015

Reports from Papua New Guinea say police have saved four women from being burnt to death after they were accused of practising sorcery.

 A photo taken on February 6, 2013 shows a young mother accused of sorcery who was stripped naked, reportedly tortured with a branding iron, tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres, in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

A photo taken on February 6, 2013 shows a young mother accused of sorcery who was stripped naked, reportedly tortured with a branding iron, tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres, in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Photo: POST COURIER / AFP

The Post Courier reports the group was tortured last week in a settlement on the outskirts of a mining township on Lihir Island in New Ireland province.

It quotes a witness who says a police rapid response team saved the women.

Two of the women were pregnant and they were taken to hospital for treatment before being moved to police cells for safety.

The paper says beliefs about sorcery continue to spread in PNG despite law reforms which mean sorcery related killings are treated as murder and are punishable by death