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SPAIN: Spanish Judge Tries To Protect Girl From Genital Mutilation

A Judge in the locality of Cervera in Lleida has taken measures to protect a girl aged 7 years old. Her parents have been forbidden from taking her to Gambia where it is feared that she could be subject to female circumcision.

According to the Catalan high court cautionary measures such as withholding her residency permit and forbidding a passport being issued in her name and forbidding her parents from taking her out of Spanish territory have been taken following suspicions raised by neighbours of the family who alerted Catalan police of the possibility that the parents of the girl were planning a lengthy trip to Gambia.

The judge decided to prevent the girl from being taken out of Spanish territory following the appearance of her parents in court.

This decision also coincides with another controversial case last December in which a court in Barcelona decided to take away the custody of two Gambian girls aged 6 and 13 from their parents resident in PremiÓ de Dalt based on fears that they could also be subjected to female circumcision following suspicions raised by the school attended by the girls.

However, last week another court decided to return the custody of the girls to their parents although this time they will share custoday with the Catalan department for the care of children. Further cautionary measures have been imposed under which no member of the family is allowed to leave Spain or apply for new passports and they must allow their daughters have regular medical examinations.

SOURCE: Euroresidentes

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DATE: 23/01/2008

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