Accused Witch Burned Alive: Mob Beat Papua New Guinea Woman, Set Her on Fire

A woman in Papua New Guinea was brutally beaten and then set aflame after residents accused her of witchcraft that contributed to the death of a young boy.

Multiple reports from the country stated that Kepari Leniata, 20, was beaten by a mob in the town of Mount Hagen, who then soaked the woman in an accelerant after stripping her of her clothes.

The mob set her on fire on a garbage pile in front of hundreds of witnesses before tossing tires on her burning corpse. The brutality was facilitated by the young boy's relatives, who had previously accused Leniata of witchcraft and sorcery in connection with the young boy's death.

Local police and firefighters who were dispatched to the scene where not able to tend to the victim as angry members of the mob prevented them from getting close to the scene.

Police Chief Supt Kaiglo Ambane promised to bring the criminals to justice while the Prime Minister said that these types of barbaric actions could not be tolerated in a civilized society, as reported by the BBC.

"Barbaric killings connected with alleged sorcery. Violence against women because of this belief that sorcery kills," Peter O'Neill, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, said in a statement. "These are becoming all too common in certain parts of the country. It is reprehensible that women, the old and the weak in our society should be targeted for alleged sorcery or wrongs that they actually have nothing to do with."

Sadly, this is not the first report of a person being burned alive after accusations of witchcraft and sorcery. In 2009, another woman was burned alive for alleged sorcery with reports indicating that many more go unreported, according to AFP.

This tropical nation even passed the Sorcery Act in 1971 that outlawed such actions, but the fear of such actions is still very much a part of the local culture.