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19 August 2016, 10:15

Girls’ circumcision should be criminally liable, Dagestani advocates assert

The practice of mutilating procedures on girls' genitals in Dagestan is a criminal offense. This opinion was voiced by advocates interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot". According to them, a procedure of female circumcision can be qualified as a bodily injury.

On August 15 the "Legal Initiative for Russia" (LIfR) posted on its website the outcomes of its study of the practice of female circumcision widespread in Dagestan. The report states that in Dagestan the practice of female genital mutilation, practiced with the support of the official clergy and considered by the republic's population as a religious duty. Rights defenders have proposed to criminalize the female circumcision and to organize a broad public debate of the issue.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the Human Rights Council (HRC) under the President of Russia has promised to deal with the problem of female circumcision in the Caucasus. Anita Soboleva, a member of the HRC, the chair of the Standing Committee on Social Rights, has spoken against the practice of female circumcision. The above practice was also criticized by the Russian Ministry of Public Health (MPH), and the General Prosecutor's Office promised to check the legality of the practice of female circumcision in Northern Caucasus.

According to Djamal Aliev, an advocate of the Dagestani Bar Association, in case if a procedure on female genitals was carried out against a female's will or against a minor girl, then such actions may be treated as criminal offenses.

Moreover, according to Djamal Aliev, criminal proceedings may be instituted against a person who has performed the above procedure and against a relative, who forced a female to the procedure.

The advocate notes that the degree of guilt depends on extent of bodily injury.

Advocate Elena Denisenko agrees with her colleague Djamal Aliev. According to her, a forensic medical examination is to be carried out to determine the degree of bodily injury.

"It is one case if an adult female was subjected to the procedure with her own will. And if a minor girl is subjected to such a procedure, then it is a criminal offense," Elena Denisenko told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Source: CK correspondent

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