6 Jun 2013

Bougainville group says onus on people over sorcery killings

5:17 am on 6 June 2013

The Bougainville Human Rights Committee says it is up to Bougainvilleans themselves to take action and ensure an end to sorcery killings.

The Committee says it has reports of 40 murders in the past four years in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

The chairperson, Helen Hakena, says the abolition of the Sorcery Act will have no effect, and change will only come when people respect the sanctity of human life.

"We plead to the people of Bougainville to start to respect people's lives and to start to work together in our communities to take action, to stop people from continuing to accuse people of sorcery, so I think this is they way to follow in Papua New Guinea. If the government is making laws the people will not follow it but the people themselves need to say what they want or what they will try to do in their communities."

Helen Hakena also says the government must speak out on the issue and ensure police are directed and properly resourced to make arrests.