A horrific video has emerged showing four young women accused of witchcraft being tortured in a village in Papua New Guinea. The video shows at least four women being stripped, beaten and burned as they are interrogated by villagers.
The video was shared by high school students on their mobile phones before appearing on social media, a Lutheran missionary in the area, Anton Lutz, told ABC news.
In the video, a woman with what appear to be wounds covering her body pleads with her attackers to stop: 'My son, stop it!' she says.
A man replies: 'Talk out, where did you put it? Burn her with the wire." Another woman says: 'I've got nothing to do with it". "I am a mother with five children," says another.
The Papua New Guinea government has developed an action plan to combat violence against women accused of using black magic. However attacks have continued continued. Two sources on the island told the Guardian that the women were accused of sorcery after a young man fell ill in the village of Enga in August.
Warning: The video contains graphic content
"There's no real way they can prove themselves innocent," said one source. "Once they're suspected they're basically done for, they'll be tortured and maybe killed as well." One woman is reported to have died in the attack.
In April, four people were accused of witchcraft and tortured in a village in the country's superstitious highlands, and in 2013 a 20-year-old woman was stripped and burnt alive in Enga province.
The Papua New Guinea government brought in the new laws after being criticised in June by the UN, which said that authorities were doing nothing to prevent the attacks.