12 Dec 2013

Call for leadership over PNG sorcery violence

1:32 pm on 12 December 2013

A former Bougainville MP says unless people publicly condemn attacks and murders in Papua New Guinea related to accusations of sorcery, they will continue.

Francesca Semoso was a delegate at last week's conference in the Eastern Highlands capital Goroka on how to stop the growing number of public executions and torture of people suspected of using sorcery to cause illness or death.

Much debate at the conference centred on the government's reintroduction of the death penalty and whether it is likely to stop people taking the law into their own hands.

But Ms Semoso says the answer is in leadership at village level.

"In every family there is a leader. That is a father and a mother. We've got leadership in the churches, in the women's groups, in the youth groups as well. So, these are leaders in the village that should be able to actually stand up collectively and say, 'We can't let that happen'."

Francesca Semoso says capital punishment will not stop the violence.