France jails Guinean couple for genital mutilation

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A French court Friday convicted a couple of Guinean origin of carrying out genital mutilation on their four daughters, sentencing the father to two years in prison and the mother to 18 months.

The court in the central city of Nevers convicted the couple, who arrived in France in the late 1980s, of "complicity in wilful violence" and sentenced the father to five years in prison and the mother to four years, with part of the sentences suspended.

The couple had been accused of carrying out the act, still practiced in some parts of Africa but illegal in France, on their two eldest daughters, now adults, and their two youngest, now aged 11 and 13.

Prosecutors had insisted on jail sentences for the couple, saying they were not looking for a "symbolic" conviction that would not include prison time.

The affair came to light in 2005 when the mutilation of the eldest girl was discovered in a Nevers hospital, where she was being operated on for appendicitis.

Female circumcision is still practised as an ancestral custom in parts of Africa despite awareness campaigns and increasingly tough legislation. The mutilation consists in a complete or partial cutting off of the clitoris and sometimes the lips of the vagina.

© 2012 AFP

2 Comments To This Article

  • John Pew posted:

    on 2nd June 2012, 05:42:24 - Reply

    Very true. These facts are clearly stated in your excellent book, "Circumcision, the hidden trauma." One of the most interesting and informative books I have ever read.
  • Ronald Goldman, Ph.D. posted:

    on 2nd June 2012, 02:14:13 - Reply

    Cutting female and male genitals have the following similarities: 1) Over 100 million procedures have been performed on current populations. 2) It is unnecessary and extremely painful. 3) It can have adverse sexual and psychological effects. 4) It is generally done by force on children. 5) It is generally supported by local medical doctors. 6) Pertinent biological facts are not generally known where procedures are practiced. 7) It is defended with reasons such as tradition, religion, aesthetics, cleanliness, and health. 8) The rationale has currently or historically been connected to controlling sexual pleasure. 9) It is often believed to have no effect on normal sexual functioning. 10) It is generally accepted and supported by those who have been subjected to it. 11) The decision is generally controlled by men though women may be supportive. 12) Those who are cut feel compelled to cut their children. 13) The choice may be motivated by underlying psychosexual reasons. 14) Critical public discussion is generally taboo where the procedure is practiced. 15) It can result in serious complications that can lead to death. 16) The adverse effects are hidden by repression and denial. 17) Dozens of potentially harmful physiological, emotional, behavioral, sexual, and social effects on individuals and societies have never been studied. 18) Where female genital cutting is practiced, cutting the genitals of males is often practiced. 19) On a qualitative level, cutting the genitals of male and female children are one and the same thing. 20) To allow us to develop into our maximum individual and social potential, we must stop the cutting of genitals of both sexes.