Norwegian police accused a Gambian couple on Friday of subjecting five daughters to genital mutilation in the country’s first-ever case against the illegal act of female circumcision.
“The father and mother are accused under laws against genital mutilation because they are suspected of contributing to the circumcision of five of their six daughters,” Hanne Kristin Rohde, a police official told NRK radio.
Only two of the six children who are aged between three and 14 live in Norway, although the others — who live in West Africa’s Gambia, with the man’s two other wives — have Norwegian passports. These include a three-year old who has not yet been circumcised.
Rohde made it clear that Norway’s public child protection agency would be entrusted with caring for all the children.
Their father, a 41 year-old whose identity has not been disclosed, is expected to appear before a judge with authorities seeking his detention. Their mother, due to give birth to a seventh child, is said to be too weak to spend time behind bars.
Rohde said Norwegian laws against female genital mutilation carry a prison term of several years depending on the severity of the case.
Source: AFP – 7 June 2008