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Port Moresby
September 20, 2021

Woman killed on daughter’s birthday over sorcery allegations

A thirty-year-old woman was burnt alive and limbs chopped off earlier this month in Hela Province, after being suspected of allegations in relation to sorcery.

Mary Kopari and several other women were accused of being responsible for the death of a two-year-old boy who died on the morning of May 07th 2021.

The other women escaped when the boy’s angry relatives torch their houses in their attempt to capture them. Mary was busy selling boiled potatoes at the Magarima station market, unaware of the child’s death when the boy’s relatives rounded her at around 1 pm on that same day.

Several attempts to free Mary from her captors by some villagers were unsuccessful. The captors warn them to not interfere as they proceed to burn her. Her scream for help came to a halt when they chopped off her limbs.

She died on the day her daughter turned sixteen. Her body was then dumped along the roadside in Tigibi in Hulia LLG.

The Tari Police Criminal Investigation Division confirmed the incident yesterday, saying they eventually brought the body to Tari Hospital, where a post mortem was conducted. No arrests have been made as yet but police are continuing investigations.

Tayawi Payawi a brother of the victim has strongly condemned the killing of his sister, saying this sort of violence in burning alive of women must be stopped.

He said he wants justice for his sister, as he reported the matter to police.

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