We’re Still Burning Women At The Stake?

In the year 2013 it’s hard to imagine that people are burned at the stake for being a witch—but that happened. Kepari Leniata, a twenty-year-old mother living in Papua New Guinea, was accused of sorcery by relatives of a six-year-old boy who died on February 5th. After the accusation an angry mob found Leniata and brought her to the town square.
Bystanders, many of whom were children, watched as she was tied to a stake and burned alive. Some took photographs; some just stood and watched– no one did anything. They watched as she was bound, tortured with a hot iron rod, covered in gasoline, then set on fire while lying on a pile of car tires in the provincial capital of Mount Hagen.
The police have not arrested anyone despite having hundreds of witnesses. The chief of police did say that there are more than fifty people suspected to have “laid a hand on the victim” but her husband is the chief suspect. He fled the province and is suspected to have a relationship to the dead boy’s family.
There are no details as to what “sorcery” or “witchcraft” Leniata had allegedly practiced. There are no details on the six-year-old boy’s death; it is unknown where Leniata’s children are. All that we do know is she was a woman, she was accused, and she was burned. No one helped her, no one protected her, and as of this post no one has given her any kind of justice.



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As you may have guessed from my many, many Vancouver news-specific posts, I live in British Columbia. And, living in BC, it’s hard to have a conversation with anyone right now that doesn’t involve this pastWednesday night’s riots following the Canucks’ 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals.

Many international news outlets carried the story of the destruction, but it’s unfortunate that more aren’t talking about what happened the next day — the thousands of people who came out with brooms and paint to help clean up the mess. So many people, in fact, that my friend was told at 9:30 in the morning that most of the cleanup hadalready been done. There was a sweet story about a cop car that had been stationed outside of one of the attacked areas that people began covering with sticky notes, thanking the police for their work during the riots — riots which resulted in nine officers being injured and two cop cars torched. The borded-up windows of the stores all around town (and believe me, I mean all around town) have …

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