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.One of the suspects is believed to be a pastor. This is a horrible crime in the name of religion--even it it were a matter of exorcism rather than a witch killing. This woman was 72 years old. I wouldn't be surprised to find her marginalised in some way, something that was often the case in witchcraft accusations in Europe and America. The belief in witchcraft, and measures against it, long predate Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa, but with the coming of Christianity, there's a likely chance of witch killings as the new religion clashes with old beliefs.
She died from her injuries the following day.
According to reports, the suspects say that they poured anointing oil on the woman which caught fire as they were trying to drive out an evil spirit.
Our correspondent says newspaper pictures showing the woman's injuries have caused revulsion in Ghana, and the incident has been condemned by human rights and women's activists.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Shock in Ghana over gruesome death of 'witch'