11 Apr 2013

Amnesty critical of PNG police in sorcery cases

2:28 pm on 11 April 2013

Amnesty International says police in Papua New Guinea are not doing enough to ensure the release of a seriously injured woman detained by a group that accuses her of practising sorcery.

The woman and her two daughters have reportedly been held captive in Bana District in Southern Bougainville since early last week.

Another woman, a prominent activist, Helen Rumbali, was accused of sorcery and beheaded.

Mrs Rumbali's death sparked a protest by human rights groups in Buka on Monday.

Amnesty International understands the woman being held captive has critical injuries with a severe laceration to her neck after being attacked.

Another three women have been prevented from leaving the district to seek essential medical care.

The NGO says the police response so far has involved a sole officer being sent to the district to negotiate the release of the women.

Amnesty's Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze says the response of the police to this and other similar incidents in PNG has so far been inadequate.