Mali woman excised daughters in France

14th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - A woman from Mali was handed down a five-year suspended jail sentence in a French court on Tuesday for the genital mutilation of her three French-born daughters.

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - A woman from Mali was handed down a five-year suspended jail sentence in a French court on Tuesday for the genital mutilation of her three French-born daughters.

Defence lawyers for Aminata Sall, 42, had argued that she had been unaware that excision, or genital mutilation, was illegal in France, and was only "respecting Malian custom".

Sall had denied in court on Monday that her daughters, now aged 10, 14, and 15, had been excised. However, on Tuesday she confessed to having "been present" during their excisions.

The mother maintained that she had not assisted in the procedure, a painful operation which typically involves cutting off the clitoris and other parts of genitalia in pre-pubescent and teenage girls.

Prosecuting lawyer Philippe Bilger had not sought to have Sall given a prison sentence.

An estimated 130 million women have been subjected to female genital mutilation, and two million undergo the procedure each year, according to officials at a conference on excision held last November in Sweden.

Widely practiced in many African countries, despite laws that outlaw it, excision impairs a woman's ability to enjoy sexual relations, and is traditionally seen as controlling female sexuality and improving a girl's marriage prospects.

© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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