A young girl in Papua New Guinea has been reportedly tortured after being accused of sorcery, a practice known locally as 'sanguma'.
The victim, believed to be aged six, is being treated at a local hospital after members of her community in a remote village near Sirunki, in Enga province, tortured her with hot knives earlier in November.
"It's the first time that I've had to deal with anything with a young child like this and it's always confronting," Lutheran missionary Anton Lutz told ABC News. He was part of the group that rescued the girl after the torture.
The girl is believed to be the daughter of Kepari Leniata. The woman was burned alive in broad daylight after also being accused of practicing sorcery in Mt Hagen in 2013.
Her murder stirred international outrage, sparking calls for investigations into violence against people accused of sorcery.
Lutz explained that violence against the child was related to accusations against her mother.
"Of all the children in the village, this one was singled out because of her parentage and they believed she was responsible for bad things happening in the village," he said.
Witch hunting is a widespread phenomenon in the country, where people accused of being sorcerers are blamed for unfortunate events, such as the sudden death of a loved one.
The country's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, condemned the attack by "pathetic and perverted individuals" and said police were being deployed to investigate the abuse.
"Lets be clear, sanguma beliefs are absolute rubbish," the Prime Minister said in a statement on his official Facebook page.
"In the modern day sanguma is not a real cultural practice, it is false belief and involves the violent abuse and torture of women and girls by pathetic and perverted individuals.
"The men behind these murders are cowards who are looking for someone to blame because of their own failure in life. These violent acts are against our values as a nation and are completely unacceptable."
He called on the communities and leaders to join efforts to end sanguma activities.
Papua New Guinea's government has long pledged to tackle violence related to sorcery or witchcraft.
In 2013, the case of a 20-year-old woman who was stripped naked, tortured and burnt alive after being accused witchery sparked worldwide outrage. This prompted the government to repeal the 1971 Sorcery Act, which allowed accusations of sorcery to be used as a defence in a murder trial.
However, witch hunts and killings of people accused of sorcery have continued.
In 2015, a video emerged of four young women accused of witchcraft being tortured in a village in Papua New Guinea. The footage showed the women being stripped, beaten and burned as they were interrogated by villagers. At least one of the women later died.
In the same year, the government introduced the Sorcery National Action Plan to address sorcery-related violence.
Earlier this year, more than 100 men accused of killing at least seven people for sorcery-related activities went on trial, in a moved welcomed by rights groups.