November 22, 2014
G.Bissau launches first female genital mutilation prosecutionsGuinea-Bissau will try six people for female circumcision, a judicial source told AFP Friday, in the west African nation's first prosecutions since the practice was outlawed three years ago.
The defendants, all of whom have appeared at preliminary court hearings since Thursday, are said to believe the practice is in keeping with their Islamic faith.
The source said the defendants, two people who carried out the circumcisions and four parents, were accused of mutilating seven young girls.
According to a health ministry report released in 2012, at least 320,000 women and young girls have undergone FGM in the nation of 1.7 million.
The Bissau-Guinean parliament passed a law in June 2011 banning FGM and making it a crime punishable by up to five years imprisonment... and a fine of 50,000 CFA francs ($95, 76 euros).
Aid agency Plan International said earlier this year 50 percent of girls continue to be victims.