Thursday, November 02, 2006

Prosecuting FGM in American Courts

Peggy McGuinness at Opinio Juris points to the following story in today's Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times:

Lawrenceville, Ga.--The lawyer for an Ethiopian immigrant convicted of the genital mutilation of his 2-year-old daughter explained that although the 5,000-year-old practice goes against Khalid Adem's beliefs, it is part of his culture.

But a judge rejected that argument Wednesday, and told Adem before sentencing him to 10 years in prison that part of his culture is a crime in America. Adem had been convicted earlier in the day.

The trial is believed to be the first criminal case in the United States involving the ancient African tradition. Taina Bien-Aime, executive director of the New York-based international human rights group Equality Now, an international human rights group, called the case monumental.

The full story is available here.