Папуа-Нова Гвінея застрягла у Середньовіччі: Щорічно тут страчують за звинуваченням у чаклунстві сотні жінок і чоловіків


На фото. A woman advocate shows a photo of the torture of another woman, who was accused of being a sorcerer by people from her village. The torture happened at the beginning of August, 2012, in Southern Highlands Province. The crowd undressed the victim, tied her to a tree, beat her and burned her body with hot iron bars, planning to burn her alive. The violence was interrupted by a group of Catholics and the woman survived. Pictures of the torture were taken by a man from the crowd with a snapshot camera and, at a later date, given to the local Catholic parish and to the photographer. Fearing more violence, the woman in the picture is hiding from her tormentors in another province.



Щороку в Папуа - Новій Гвінеї вбивають сотні жінок і чоловіків, яких підозрюють в застосуванні чорної магії. Напади на "відьом" і "чаклунів" відбуваються тут щотижня. Про це пише журнал Новое Время.

З магією на цих островах потрібно бути обережними

Ворожнеча між сусідніми громадами - звична справа для Папуа-Нової Гвінеї, де проживає більше тисячі різних етнічних груп. Папуаси вірять, що удача в битві, як і загальне благополуччя людини, залежить від прихильності духів, а задобрити їх допомагають магічні ритуали. Місцеві жителі можуть забити сотню свиней в якості жертви духам своїх предків, прагнучи отримати їх підтримку в майбутньому бою.

Але з магією на цих островах потрібно бути обережними: якщо односельці запідозрять, що хтось використовує магію зі злими намірами, на нього чекає суворе покарання. Місцеві жителі вірять, що злі чаклуни і відьми мають свої унікальні зовнішні риси і властивості.

Самосуд в таких випадках відрізняється особливою жорстокістю: жертв катують, калічать, а іноді вбивають, спалюючи живцем, зіштовхуючи зі скелі, відрізаючи голову або забиваючи камінням. Шансів виправдатися у нещасних немає.

Доступ до правоохоронних органів та офіційних судів для жителів/-ок невеликих селищ обмежений величезними відстанями і нерозвиненою транспортною інфраструктурою. А через те, що в тортурах і стратах зазвичай беруть участь всі члени громади, свідків у таких злочинах знайти важко. До суду ж такі справи доходять вкрай рідко.

Жертвами звинувачень в чаклунстві найчастіше стають беззахисні жінки: літні, овдовілі або ті, кому заздрять, - прогресивні і заможні. За даними міжнародної правозахисної організації Amnesty International, в цій країні жінок в шість разів частіше звинувачують в чаклунстві, ніж чоловіків.

Як правило, члени громади звинувачують тих, кого підозрюють в хворобах і смертях одноплемінників. При цьому справжнім мотивом кари нерідко стає бажання нажитися - отримати майно беззахисних земляків. Для остров'ян це один з небагатьох способів поліпшити своє матеріальне становище.

Злочин і кара

Півтора роки тому широкого поширення набуло відео тортур чотирьох жінок, підозрюваних у чаклунстві. Односельці схопили їх, звинувативши в "невидимому" викраденні серця місцевого юнака, який незадовго до цього тяжко захворів. Жінок роздягли, зв'язали, а потім били і підпалили. У паузах між тортурами мучителі допитували своїх жертв, а ті клялися в невинності і благали про пощаду.

Знімали відео учасники страти, а поширювали місцеві жителі різних соціальних класів і вікових груп, в тому числі студенти. Причому робили це, не засуджуючи, а навпаки - підтримуючи екзекуцію.

Якщо в селищі раптово захворює немовля, місцеві починають шукати винного чорнокнижника. Підозрюваного хапають і віддають представникам народного суду, за допомогою тортур вибиваючи зізнання. Захисників у обвинувачених, як правило, не знаходиться.

Більше 40 років на території Папуа діяв закон про чаклунство. Він криміналізував застосування магії і дозволяв суддям скорочувати термін за вбивство, якщо жертву підозрювали в чаклунстві. Шокуючу для сучасного світу норму місцева влада скасувала лише в 2013 році після кількох гучних вбивств.

Одне з них сталося взимку 2013 року, коли 20-річну дівчину облили пальним і спалили живцем на місцевому звалищі, на очах у сотень односельців. Дізнавшись про підготовку страти, на місце події поспішила поліція, проте вбивці відтіснили правоохоронців і розправилися з нещасною.

Саме тоді хвиля обурення вперше сколихнула світові ЗМІ. Громадський резонанс змусив місцевих правоохоронців діяти, і незабаром звинувачення у вбивстві висунули двом підозрюваним. Ними виявилися мати і дядько шестирічної дитини, яка померла нібито від чаклунських чар дівчини.

Але місцеві мешканці продовжують вірити, що, якщо вони не вб'ють "чаклуна", той продовжить нести смерть і невдачі до їх селища.

Джерело








На фото. A photo of the torture of a woman who was accused of sorcery by people from her village. No one was charged with the crime.


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Также дополнительную информацию о положении женщин в Папуа — Новая Гвинея можно узнать из указанных ниже источников:

РЕКОМЕНДУЕМ ОБРАТИТЬ ВНИМАНИЕ НА ЭТОТ ПРОЕКТ (Crying Meri)

1. Crying Meri: Violence Against Women in Papua New Guinea is a long-term documentary project by Vlad Sokhin. Vlad started documenting gender-based and sorcery-related violence in PNG in January 2012. In the following three years he worked on his own and in collaboration with several print/online media companies, the United Nations and international NGOs.

DANGER ON THE STREETS

Papua New Guinea is a dangerous place for women or ‘meri’ as they are called in Tok Pisin, the local language. Violence against women is seen as normal. According to recent statistics from the Papua New Guinea National Department of Health, more than two thirds of women have experienced physical or sexual violence, one third were subjected to rape and 17% of sexual abuse involved girls between the ages 13 and 14. One of the world’s leading humanitarian charities, Doctors Without Borders, claim that they are dealing with levels of gender violence normally only experienced in war zones.

The main danger comes from the Raskol gangs that rule the settlements in big towns and the capital city. Every day most of the crimes committed are against women from the Port Moresby slum areas. Peter Moses, one of the leaders of “Dirty Dons 585” Raskol gang, states that raping women is a “must” for the young members of the gang. In some New Guinean tribes when a boy wants to become a man, he should go to enemy’s village and kill a pig. After that his community will accept him as an adult. In industrial Port Moresby women have replaced pigs. “First, a young gang member should steal something, money or a car — and he will be admitted to the gang. After that he must prove that his intentions are serious and he must rape a woman to complete his initiation. And it is better if a boy kills her afterwards, there will be less problems with the police”, says Moses, 32, who claims to have raped more than 30 women himself.

***

DANGER IN THE HOME

In Papua New Guinea a large percentage of local men don’t respect ‘meri,’ constantly beating them, often using bush knives and axes. Men believe that after they have paid a bride price — following local tradition when a bride’s parents receive payments from the groom’s family — they fully possess a woman and can treat her the way they treat a purchased vehicle.

Many cases of domestic violence occur because of alcoholism and jealousy, as men in Papua New Guinea often have two or three wives at the same time. Rejected and beaten women are often kicked out of their homes and onto the street, where they then become easy targets for Raskol gangs. Violence against women is rarely brought to court. Most assailants are kept in a cell at the police station for a couple of days and then released. The police claim the low rate of convictions stems from the fact that victims often fear filing a statement or that many wives take pity on their husbands and insist on the termination of the case.

Tessie Soi, a social worker and the director of the Family Support Center in Port Moresby’s General Hospital, says that most women would rather tolerate beating and coerced sex than be left without the support of a man. “The problem is that men start feeling unpunished and continue treating their wives with a greater cruelty, even when pregnant. This often results in a loss of the child or death of a woman. That’s why I insist that once violence has been reported to the police, there is no way back”.

Perpetrators also escape justice because of money. To file an assault report with the police, an abused women must first obtain a medical statement, which costs. Also, a woman has to buy fuel for the police car, as nowadays police stations do not receive enough financial support. Fuel costs are high and, in rural areas, women cannot afford the expense. Furthermore there is no guarantee that police will not take a bribe from a landed perpetrator to release him later.

***

DANGER IN SUPERSTITION

Sorcery-related violence is widespread in Melanesia. In Papua New Guinea it can take a savage form. In the Highlands Region witch-hunts occur in almost every province. Locals believe in ‘sanguma,’ witches, or ‘puri-puri,’ black magic. In case of an unexpected death in a village, residents often accuse a woman of sorcery, usually a relative of the dead person, and torture her, forcing her to confess that she is a witch.

The torture can involve cutting with machetes and axes. It may include burning with hot metal implements. Many of these ‘punishments’ are public and result in the victim’s death. Sometimes women are burnt alive. Even if the woman survives, she is expelled from the community permanently and cannot return home. Despite the widespread violence, the authorities of Papua New Guinea do not have a program to help victims of sorcery-related violence or to provide any shelter for these women. Cases of sorcery-related violence are rarely brought to court and sometimes even the police are involved in witch-hunts, supporting the perpetrators not the victims.

***

AFTERWORD

The situation in Papua New Guinea is slowly changing. Women are raising their voice and can’t be ignored anymore by the local authorities.

In 2013 the PNG Parliament repealed the country’s controversial Sorcery Act that provided protection for the perpetrators accused of sorcery-related violence if they were acting to stop ‘witchcraft’.

The country’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, publicly apologized to all the women of PNG for the high rates of domestic and sexual violence in the country. On September 18, 2013, Papua New Guinea passed the Family Protection Bill that, for the first time in PNG history, criminalizes domestic violence.

At the same time the PNG government reinstated the death penalty, which will apply to a long list of crimes including sorcery-related murder and rape. International organizations like Amnesty International and local human rights defenders believe that it is a step backward.

“Our work could become even more dangerous after the death penalty was brought back,” says Monica Paulus, who has worked with victims of sorcery-related- violence for several years in the Highlands Region of PNG. “Now the perpetrators will fear that they might be sentenced to death and will do everything to eliminate all the witnesses to their crimes, including those people who help the survivors.”

It is still too early to say whether the new laws will actually protect women or not. In a country where tribal rules and customs still hold sway in many remote communities, it will likely take years to stop injustice. But now, people are aware because local papers and social media are filled almost every day with horrific news about violence against women and girls. Still, Papua New Guinea remains one of the most dangerous places on Earth to be a woman.


ОЧЕНЬ ИНТЕРЕСНАЯ И НУЖНАЯ ИНИЦИАТИВА

2. Women Not Witches: Meet the People Fighting Sorcery Attacks in Papua New Guinea

An alarming series of superstitious attacks in recent years persecuting women in Papua New Guinea for supposed "sorcery" has prompted concerned citizens to take matters into their own hands.

Spiritualism has a long history in Papua New Guinea, whose government passed a law denouncing the use of black magic in 1971. The dark arts are often blamed for problems ranging from poverty and disease to natural disasters, and accusations have spurred mob violence. Those suspected of witchcraft are often maimed, beheaded, or burned alive. Though women are routinely singled out, men have also been targeted. The United Nations and groups like Amnesty International have cited hundreds of incidents of sorcery-related violence over the past few years.

The government's repeal two years ago of the 1971 Sorcery Act has done little to abate the violence. In January, the Seeds Theatre Group launched a project called Women Not Witches to counter widespread superstitions and the frequent incidents of violence against women, and it is already helping to save lives.




3. Mass trial in Papua New Guinea over ‘sorcery’ killings

A “berserk” crowd used bows and arrows, knives and axes to hack to death seven people including two small children accused of sorcery, a trial in Papua New Guinea has heard.

Ninety-seven of the 122 people charged pleaded not guilty to wilful murder, with the rest, who were released on bail, failing to show up to the court in the Pacific nation’s Madang province, local media reported.

4. About UN Women PNG

Papua New Guinea (PNG) ranks very low in all global indicators in advancing gender equality and elimination of violence against women. As a result, PNG is a priority country in UN Women's Strategic Plan. UN Women is signatory to the UN Country Programme for PNG (2008-2012). UN Women is consolidating and expanding its work and programmes in PNG, an advanced UN 'Delivering as One' self-starter country. UN agencies in PNG are committed to working together – and UN Women takes the lead in advancing the gender equality agenda in the country.


5. Papua New Guinea

Women’s and Girls’ Rights

Papua New Guinea is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman, with the majority of women experiencing rape or assault in their lifetime and women facing systemic discrimination. While such acts have long been criminalized and domestic violence was specifically proscribed under the 2013 Family Protection Act (FPA), few perpetrators are brought to justice. Three years since the FPA was passed, it has not been implemented.


6. PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2016/2017

Violence against women and girls

The government failed to address widespread sexual and gender-based violence in legislation or in practice. Cultural practices were allowed to persist, including the custom whereby wives are forced to repay a “bride price” to their husbands if they wish to separate from him, placing women in abusive marriages at greater risk. Women accused of “sorcery” were subjected to violence from the community.

There was also limited psychosocial support, women’s shelters or other services to protect women from domestic violence.


7. Women not witches - Sorcery attacks in Papua New Guinea