Spain: Gambia native given 12 years for FGM of two daughters

Turned in by gynecologist, father gets 6 years for each offense

23 May, 14:39

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, MAY 23 - A Barcelona court on Thursday sentenced a Gambia native to 12 years in prison for having his two daughters, aged 11 and 6, genitally mutilated. A gynecologist who visited the girls turned the family in to authorities, sparking what is one of the first cases of female genital mutilation to be uncovered and prosecuted in Spain.

    The children's father argued that the mutilations had been carried out during a family trip to Gambia years ago. But court testimony proved the girls were still unmutilated in 2010 and had never left the Catalan town of Vilanova, where they live, since then.

    A Barcelona judge sentenced the father to six years for each offense, citing the fact that he had lived in Spain for years and knew female genital mutilation is illegal there as an aggravating circumstance.

    While recognizing that in Gambia the practice is traditional and not carried out with the intent to harm women physically or morally, ''the limit to the respect of indigenous cultures lies in the respect of universally recognized human rights'', the judge wrote in his sentence. (ANSAmed).

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