A genuinely good idea from the government of Papua New Guinea, where there has been a rash of vigilante crime against suspected witches and sorcerers:
Mr. O’Neill, responding on Thursday to a question from a reporter about that killing, pledged to repeal the 1971 Sorcery Act, which criminalizes the practice of sorcery and recognizes the accusation of sorcery as a defense in murder cases. Critics of the law say that it encourages violence against people accused of being sorcerers by codifying black magic as a legal phenomenon.
“We have quite a lot of issues on the table, so please give us a chance to work on it,” Mr. O’Neill told the reporter. “Realistically, a few sessions away, we will be able to put an act to Parliament to stop this nonsense about witchcraft and all the other sorceries that are really barbaric in itself.”
Over the last year, Papua New Guinea has come under increased international pressure to end what appears to be a growing trend of vigilante violence against people accused of sorcery. Last July, police officers arrested 29 members of a witch-hunting gang who were murdering and cannibalizing people they suspected of being sorcerers.