PNG Post-Courier: ‘Laughing stock’ sorcery issue way out of control

Front page report in the Post-Courier 120122
Front page report in the Post-Courier yesterday ... plea for politicians to do something to end sorcery accused violence. Image: PNG Post-Courier screenshot APR

EDITORIAL: The PNG Post-Courier

Whether the leaders of Papua New Guinea realise it or not, sorcery is a big social issue.

It is wreaking havoc while politicians seem to look on in disdain.

If there is a law on sorcery, it is being disregarded at will.

PNG Post-Courier

It means perpetrators of sorcery torture and killings are making a laughing stock out of the country’s laws and they seem to be winning.

The world has been watching Papua New Guinea and is laughing away on how we are handling this issue.

We have gone down this low into the holes.

As recent as two weeks ago, SBS Queensland ran a documentary by a reporter from CNN who visited Papua New Guinea to report on the problem sorcery is causing.

Image of PNG tainted
That is how far this matter has gone.

Yet our lack of response makes it look all that bad.

The image of the country has been tainted by this nonsense.

Sorcery accusation related violence (SARV) killings are nothing more than murder, the way it is happening. Since sorcery cannot be proven, it is being used as an excuse for wanton murder.

Yet no one sees murder except sorcery.

It is an excuse not to do anything to curb the problem because we’re afraid. We’re afraid, not of sorcery but what the perpetrators might do to us.

These people, we say, are terrorist.

They have gained notoriety because of the barbaric way in which the victims have been treated.

PNG Post-Courier

These people, we say, are terrorist.

They have gained notoriety because of the barbaric way in which the victims have been treated.

That is the root of the fear.

If the sorcery law is vague and ambiguous, what about murder?

What about terrorism?

Murder and terrorism crippling society
Is murder and terrorism crippling society that we blame sorcery as the easy way out and ignore it?

This matter has been raised before.

But no one is changing because lives are being lost or ruined and no one seems to care.

Women especially are being targeted so there must be people who have deep hatred for women.

They could be sick in the head.

We say the perpetrators should not only be locked up when they are rounded up, they should also undergo a check on their mental condition.

If mental health issues are on the rise, you cannot send mentally deranged people to prison; they must be sent to a prison of their own.

Tribal enmity creeping in
It would also appear that tribal enmity is creeping into the so-called sorcery killings and it is a payback in disguise.

Payback killings are well known in PNG so why are we naïve about it?

If they are not payback, slap murder charges on the perpetrators and they go through the process of being innocent until proven guilty.

If there is no evidence of sorcery but the victims are being killed on suspicion, then the same can be said of people who are suspected of being behind the killings.

The way the law is being implied here makes the criminal law and justice system look like a page taken from a primitive tribe’s book of reasoning.

Let’s not bury our head in the sand on this and hope the problem will go away.

It won’t go away by itself so leaders; get your head out of the sand and take action.

We see murder here.

We see terrorism.

What do you see?

If women are not to be protected, the future development and progress of the country will crawl at snail’s pace until we come to our senses.

This PNG Post-Courier editorial was published on 12 January 2022 under the original title “Sorcery issue has gone way out of control”. Republished with permission.

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