Update on Liberia Action
In March, Equality Now issued the Women's Action calling on the Liberian government to enact a law protecting women and girls from FGM in Liberia and seeking justice for Ruth Peal who was forcibly mutilated in January 2010 (see below) Since that time, the Minister of Internal Affairs has pledged to follow-up with Ruth’s case to ensure that she obtains justice, and the Ministry of Gender awarded a small grant to Ruth to help her start an income-generating activity.
FGM Case in Niger (AGLDF)
In November 2010, a member of the village watch reported to CONIPRAT that a circumciser mutilated seventeen young girls aged from three months to three years. CONIPRAT managed to identify only seven girls, and they were taken to hospital for treatment. The case was reported to the police, and the circumciser and nine parents were each charged with violation of article 232 of the Penal Code, which prohibits the practice of FGM in Niger. On 12 April 2011, the accused were found guilty and sentenced to three months imprisonment and a fine of 40,000 CFA (US$ 89) each. The judge indicated that the perpetrators should start serving the sentence from the 29th April 2011. Unfortunately, on the 29th April, the court changed the sentence to a suspended jail term, and CONIPRAT was denied the right to appeal the decision. Wanting to ensure the victims receive justice and send a message to the community to deter them from continuing carrying out the practice, CONIPRAT hired a local lawyer who appealed against the ruling at the Court of appeal. The hearing date has not been set yet.
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