Friday, November 26, 2010
A 72-year-old African woman in Ghana has been burned to death for being a witch
The woman, who lived in the port city of Tema, near Accra, was set on fire by a group of five adults. Belief in witches is common among both educated and uneducated Ghanaians. Three women and two men have been arrested, aged between 37 and 55. Police say the suspects tortured the woman, Ama Hemmah, until she confessed to being a witch, before dousing her with kerosene and setting her on fire. She died from her injuries the following day. The suspects say that they poured anointing oil on the woman which caught fire as they were trying to drive out an evil spirit. The incident has been condemned by human rights and women's activists. There have been other cases of violence against women accused of being witches, and a government-backed commission has urged religious and civil society groups to help tackle the problem.