EUROPE: Somali-born woman sentenced for violating female circumcision ban

Stockholm - A 42-year-old woman was sentenced Monday to three years imprisonment for violating a Swedish ban on female circumcision and child abuse by forcing her daughter to undergo the painful procedure.

It was the second ruling on female circumcision in Sweden since the law was adopted in 1982. The first case was tried in court in June this year, when a 41-year-old Somali-born man was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay damages to his daughter. He has appealed the sentence.

The woman sentenced Monday by a district court in Molndal, western Sweden, was also ordered to pay damages of 550,000 kronor (75,000 dollars) to her daughter.

The court ruled that the woman had taken her daughter to Somalia in 2001 where the procedure was performed. At the time, the girl was 11 years old. The case came to light earlier this year when school staff became concerned about the girl, who is now aged 16.

In 1999, the law was amended to make it an offence to take the victim to another country and carry out the procedure there. The National Board of Health and Welfare said that in 2004, an estimated 28,000 women and girls in Sweden had ties to countries in which female circumcision or genital mutilation is practised.

Female circumcision is most common in African countries, but also occurs in several Middle Eastern countries.

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-AgenturOriginal Article
URL: Original Article
Posted On: Oct 2, 2006, 15:28 GMT
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