In April police stood by and watched as Helen Rumbali, a women's rights advocate and former school teacher accused of sorcery, was beheaded in front of her community in Papua New Guinea.
Her two daughters and another women had also been accused of sorcery and faced the same fate, but police failed to properly intervene. They sent just one officer to the area to attempt to negotiate their release.
However, after thousands of Pocket Protestors took action all three women were released and are now safe and revieving medical care. What’s more, the President of Papua New Guinea has announced his intention to repeal the notorious Sorcery Act, which would help prevent such brutality taking place in the future.
At the start of April after three days of torture, women’s rights advocate and teacher Helen Rumbali was beheaded in front of the local community for sorcery. Attacks like this are not uncommon in Papua New Guinea.
Under the controversial Sorcery Act, any allegations of sorcery can be used to justify or excuse horrific attacks. That is why we have called for the act to be scrapped.
How you helped
Thousands of you called on the police to do all they could to save the lives of Helen's two daughters and another women who had also been accused of sourcery.
Yesterday we heard that all three of them are now free, safe and receiving the medical care. The local Bouganville police heeded our calls and did all they could to resolve the standoff, with senior officers involved in the negotiations to release the women.
Just as importantly, the Prime Minster of Papua New Guinea has announced he intends to repeal the Sorcery Act – a massive victory for those in Papua New Guinea who been campaigning for change for a long time.