Sorcery Killing In PNG Capital Mars Otherwise Peaceful New Year

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Elderly couple’s murder ‘unacceptable’ says superintendent

By Miriam Zarriga

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 2, 2015) –Tragedy has befallen the Okapa block at Six-Mile in Moresby Northeast, after an elderly couple from Okapa in Eastern Highlands Province was brutally killed for allegedly practising sorcery.

The killings yesterday marred a quiet New Year’s for the capital, Metropolitan Superintendent Andy Bawa said.

The suspects are understood to be from the same block as the couple and investigations are being carried out and the bodies are now at the Port Moresby General Hospital morgue.

"The murders of the couple are inhumane, unwarranted and unacceptable," said Mr Bawa. "And I condone the taking of a human life, especially in the New Year; we will be working hard to arrest the attackers."

Sorcery-related killings had been frequent in the Highlands region last year but this is the time first time such killings have been reported in the nation’s capital where law-makers are seriously contemplating the death penalty for sorcery-related killings of women.

Mr Bawa did not provide further details of these extrajudicial killings, adding they were the only serious crime reported in an otherwise quiet Wednesday and Thursday.

"The murders are the only major incident that has been reported, but there were a few drunkards who we were able to control, other than that, the city were quiet," he said.

Mr Bawa commended city residents for their well-behaved and quiet celebrations, adding his policemen and women should also be praised for their hard work in ensuring peace and goodwill prevailed.

"I want to commend the police personnel for their hard work and restless nights. They have ensured the city and its residents are safe," Mr Bawa said. "The Australian Federal Police personnel are to be thanked also for their assistance and for their work in 2014 and for their continuous support in 2015."

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