|20 year old Leniata burnt alive: Image: Post Courier|
Papua New Guinea police have revealed that the prime suspect in the murder of a woman accused of sorcery is her husband.
20 year old Kepari Leniata, a mother of one, was tortured, stripped and set on fire in the Western Highlands capital Mt Hagen on Wednesday.
Her husband is now believed to have fled to nearby Enga province.
Police say the killing, conducted in broad daylight, was watched by hundreds of civilians, who stopped officers intervening.
Ms Leniata was accused of sorcery after a six-year-old relative of her attackers died in Mt Hagen Hospital the night before.
It is unknown if Ms Leniata was related to the boy.
The police commissioner Tom Kulunga, has called the murder ’shocking and devilish’ and says it is totally unacceptable.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says it’s disturbed by the reports.
The OHCHR says its concerned this case adds to the growing pattern of vigilante attacks and killings of persons accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea.
The UN body is urging the PNG government to put an end to these crimes and to bring perpetrators of attacks and killings to justice in accordance with international law.
The United States of America has also condemned the killing, saying there is no possible justification for this sort of violence.
It says this incident once again highlights the need for comprehensive action to address the pervasive global problem of gender-based violence. RNZI