Female circumcision trial

May 27, 2012 at 8:00 PM

NEVERS, France, May 27 (UPI) -- A Guinean couple will face trial in France for allegedly practicing female genital mutilation on their four daughters, officials said.

The couple, who arrived in France in the late 1980s, have been charged with complicity in violence, "having brought about the mutilation of a minor of less than 15 years old," Radio France Internationale reported. They are to go to trial Tuesday and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Their eldest two daughters were found to have been circumcised in 2005 when one, age 14 at the time, was admitted to the hospital in Nevers for appendicitis. Their father denied any knowledge of it, denied knowing it was illegal in France and that he permitted it to be done.

RFI reported the couple were placed under judicial control, a form of probation, after the incident.

When one of their younger daughters, age 7, was admitted to the hospital for heavy vaginal bleeding in 2009, hospital staff discovered both younger daughters had been circumcised. The parents again denied any knowledge of the procedure.

Female genital cutting is practiced traditionally in about 30 African countries but is illegal in France. About 40 female genital mutilation cases have been brought to court in France.

"This case is a first in so far as the parents were warned in 2005 but did it again," said lawyer Linda Weil-Curiel of the Committee for the Abolition of Sexual Mutilation.

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