Neuchâtel court found a Somali mother guilty of submitting her two daughters to female genital mutilation in a landmark case in the Alpine nation. The new Swiss law prohibits genital mutilation, that is a crime in 2011 under Article 124.
In Switzerland, it is the first case about genital mutilation but a prevention is also key, so progressive women of Switzerland and Europe welcome judgements but we also place a caveat that there need to be preventive measures too.
“Any case that highlights FGM and how much of a human rights abuse it is is important,”
Fiona Coyle, director of End FGM European Network.
Two young daughters of Somali woman underwent the painful and barbarian genital mutilation while living with their mother in Somalia and Ethiopia between 2013 and 2015, That was a fact the mother did not deny in the Neuchâtel regional court. According to the Article 124: “Anyone who mutilates the genitals of a female person, significantly impairing her in her natural function or in any other way, will be imprisoned for up to ten years.” The new Swiss law stipulates that “anyone who commits the crime abroad is also liable in Switzerland” to protect the health of the millions of girls.
“I do not think I can change things. But perhaps this verdict will help eliminate the suffering of millions of girls,”
said Nathalie Kocherhans, the judge at the presiding regional court, according to Swiss national news portal SRF.
Although the Swiss court acknowledged that the mother due to her illiteracy was placed under considerable societal pressure to force her two daughters to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), judge Kocherhans nevertheless deemed a prison sentence necessary. The mother had been denounced in Switzerland by the daughters’ Somali father.