Friday, 14 June 2013

Sad Story of Female Teacher Who Was Tortured & Beheaded for Witchcraft

This is chilling..I can only imagine what it feels like to be tortured by your own people for days and eventually  beheaded with no one to come to your rescue..Just has similar traits with the unfortunate Uniport4 Killings..
 Read Below..
On a tropical island where most people live in huts, assailants armed with guns, machetes and axes stormed the wooden house by night. They set the building on fire and took away four female relatives to be tortured. Their alleged crime: witchcraft.
Helen Rumbali was beheaded. Her older sister and two teenage nieces were repeatedly slashed with knives before being released following negotiations with police. Rumbali's assailants claimed they had clear proof the 40-something former schoolteacher had used sorcery to kill another villager who died of sickness: The victim's grave bore the marks of black magic, and a swarm of fire flies apparently led witch hunters to Rumbali's home.

Some are arguing the recent violence is fueled not by the nation's widespread belief in black magic but instead by economic jealousy born of a mining boom that has widened the country's economic divide and pitted the haves against the have-nots.
"Jealousy is causing a lot of hatred," said Helen Hakena, chairwoman of the North Bougainville Human Rights Committee, which is based in the area Rumbali was killed.
"People who are so jealous of those who are doing well in life, they resort to what our people believe in, sorcery, to kill them, to stop them continuing their own development"That was definitely a case of jealousy because her family is really quite well off," Hakena said.She said villagers were envious because Rumbali's husband and son had government jobs, they had a "permanent house" made of wood, and the family had tertiary educations and high social standing.
Another possible explanation is the spread of particularly vicious sorcery beliefs that before were just seen in the highland province of Chimbu, said anthropologist Philip Gibbs, a sorcery specialist and Roman Catholic priest who has lived in the wilds of Papua New Guinea for the past 41 years.
In Chimbu, people bury their dead in concrete so that the bodies will not be eaten at night by small demonic animals that they believe can possess the living. Villagers pay witch doctors to divine who among them are possessed by these demons, which they believe leave the person's body at night and take on the form of any small animal.
Gibbs said those suspected of being possessed are often tortured to make confessions and are sometimes killed.
"That form is spreading to other provinces where it's never existed before and we're asking the question why,".Accused families abandon their small farms in a hurry, usually taking only what they can carry in a bag. The villagers must then decide who occupies the vacant land."That's where the jealousy and the greed can come in," Gibbs said
The country’s Sorcery Act allowed for a belief in witchcraft to be used as a partial legal defense for killing someone suspected of black magic. The government repealed the law last month in response to the recent violence.Which explain why no arrests have been made
“There’s no doubt that there are really genuine beliefs there, and in some circumstances that is what is motivating people: the belief that if they don’t kill this person, then this person is going to continue to bring death and misfortune and sickness on their village,”
Said Miranda Forsyth, a lawyer at Australian National University

Culled from Associated press

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