Dramatic video emerges of PNG women saved from witch-hunt murder

An increase in witch-hunt murders in Papua New Guinea is putting pressure on their government to intervene - but it's dangerous work.

An increase in witch-hunt murders in Papua New Guinea is putting pressure on the Government to intervene. Source: 1 NEWS

Now dramatic video has emerged of Papua New Guinea women saved from witch-hunt murders, with a rescue mission underway in the rugged highland province of Enga - where four women accused of black magic face execution.

In the remote village four women have been accused of practising sorcery and are facing execution after a number of villagers died in a measles epidemic.

The women have been kept prisoner - all of them, including their children, facing a brutal death sentence.

Enga deputy police commander Epenes Nili says the villagers paid about $3000 to one witch finder who identified the four women as witches - but now publicly withdraws her accusation and has given the money back.

Nili said: "These women you have put on death row, today they are free, you must go to church and repent."

Missionaries have also made a plea for their release, with around 150 women killed every year in sorcery attacks.

By turning over a stone, the witchfinder agrees she will stop practising, and the men break arrows signifying the drama is over.

Described as a national crisis, the increase in witchcraft murders has also prompted the United Nations to step in and demand the government take action.

Up until recently sorcery could be used as a legal defence for murder but while the law may have changed the Enga incident shows witchcraft killings still threaten innocent lives.