Woman 'gives birth hanging from tree'

Last updated 13:25 26/02/2008

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A pregnant Papua New Guinea woman hanged from a tree after being accused of sorcery gave birth to her baby while struggling to free herself, local media reports.

Nolan Yekum and her husband Paul were dragged from their house and hung from a tree by fellow tribesmen who accused them of sorcery after the couple's neighbour suddenly died.

Their ordeal occurred in Kilip village near Banz in Western Highlands Province, PNG's newspaper The National reported today.

The woman and her newborn baby girl, her third child, were doing well in Mt Hagen Hospital after two weeks in hiding, the report said.

Her husband said men entered their house in the middle of the night with a rope and tied it to their necks, accusing them of sorcery over their neighbour's death.

They were dragged outside and hung from a tree, he said.

"We managed to loosen the noose to get our feet on the ground ... we were able to free ourselves.

"My wife, who was about seven months pregnant, delivered the baby while struggling to free herself.

"It was a painful experience for me and her," Yekum said.

He said he pleaded with fellow villagers to wait for his neighbour's post-mortem and he accused local police of failing to act.

The couple vehemently denied practising sorcery.

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- AAP

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