TAG | Witchcraft
A hideous story from NBC:
Assailants stripped, tortured and bound a woman accused of witchcraft, then burned her alive in front of hundreds of witnesses in a Papua New Guinea town, police said Friday after one of the highest profile sorcery-related murders in this South Pacific island nation.
Some of the hundreds of bystanders took photographs of Wednesday’s brutal slaying. Grisly pictures were published on the front pages of the country’s biggest circulating newspapers, The National and Post-Courier. The prime minister, police and diplomats condemned the killing.
Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old who had a child, had been accused of sorcery by relatives of a 6-year-old boy who died in the hospital the day before, police spokesman Dominic Kakas said.
Note the coexistence of modernity (the taking of photographs) with ancient superstition. Belief in the supernatural is not going away any time soon; the only question is the form that it will take.
Via The Daily Telegraph:
‘Political correctness’ is preventing police from stopping child abuse by parents and church leaders who believe in witchcraft, a minister warns.
Tim Loughton, the children’s minister, said that a “wall of silence” was obscuring the full scale of cruelty in some communities where beliefs in evil spirits was common. He was speaking as the Government announced plans to introduce new training for social workers, teachers, police and church members to combat the abuse.
It follows the conviction earlier this year of Eric Bikubi a London football coach, and his partner Magalie Bamu, for torturing and murdered a 15-year-old boy because they believed he was practising witchcraft. The couple, whose families came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, subjected Bamu’s brother Kristy to a three-day ordeal because they were convinced he was practising “kindoki” or sorcery. The case had echoes of that of Victoria Climbié, the eight-year-old girl who was murdered by her guardians who believed she was possessed by demons.
The defendant in this case may or may not have lost her senses, the judge that sentenced her clearly has:
A young woman who repeatedly stabbed her mother as she slept has walked free from court after a judge accepted she believed she was acting on the instructions of evil spirits. Lorraine Mbulawa, 20, donned dark clothes, gloves and a home-made balaclava and attacked her mother with a kitchen knife in Braunstone Firth, Leicester. The 43-year-old victim saved herself by grabbing the weapon, but suffered serious face and arm injuries.
Mbulawa, who was 18 at the time, was cleared of attempted murder at her trial at Leicester Crown Court earlier this year but convicted of unlawful wounding.
Psychiatrists said she was not mad and the jury agreed that she knew what she was doing.
However, the A-level student, who was born in Zimbabwe, escaped with a 12-month suspended prison sentence and was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work. Passing sentence on Monday, Mr Justice Keith said he accepted the defendant had strong beliefs in witchcraft and thought she was possessed by the spirit of her dead grandmother at the time of the attack in May 2009.
He told Leeds Crown Court: ‘She believed spirits can enter the body and make you do things that otherwise you would not have done.’
He praised Mbulawa as ‘unusually confident and assured, also not unintelligent with a degree of charm and poise’. Family members were in court and her mother Sisbsisiwe gave Mbulawa an emotional hug as she was released from the dock. She will now be able to move back in with her mother in Braunstone Frith, Leicester, after living apart for two years. Mr Justice Keith told Mbulawa: ‘I hope that you and your mother can come to terms with what has happened. I wish you all the best for the future.’
The court heard a psychiatrist who assessed Mbulawa said she was still a risk because she believed the spirits could possess her again and she has no control over them.
Any civilization that throws up ‘judges’ as appalling as this is in a great deal of trouble.