Guinean couple charged in France for genital mutilation

A couple of Guinean origin went on trial here Tuesday accused of carrying out what France considers genital mutilation on their four daughters, but some Africans view as a traditional practice.

The parents, charged with “complicity in wilful violence”, face up to 20 years in prison, since the fact that their daughters were minors at the time of the procedure known as female circumcision was considered an aggravating circumstance.

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.

A psychological expertise presented in court on the two youngest girls concluded that they were totally submitted to parental authority and that “circumcision was a taboo subject in the family”.