MARCHING TO HIS DEATH : A victim of ninja violence

THIS picture was taken secretly by an Indonesian journalist in Banyuwangi, East Java, last month.

The bloodied naked man is a black magic practitioner or shaman who, after being tortured, is being paraded publicly by a mob in one of the villages in this rural community of two million people.

In the background is a ninja wearing a face mask and carrying a club. Local authorities say the ninjas or death squads are responsible for more than 150 murders in the East Java this year.

The killings were targeted originally at sorcerers but expanded subsequently to include Muslim clerics and supporters of thetraditionalist Nadhlatul Ulama.

Victims’ bodies, sometimes reported to be mutilated and decapitated, have been left in front of their houses, mosque or hung from trees.

The naked man in this picture did not make it. He is another grim statistic to the brutal violence breaking out not just in Banyuwangi, but also in Pasuruan, Jember, Malang and Madura in East Java.

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