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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 November 2006, 00:53 GMT
Father jailed for US mutilation
Khalid Adem, jailed for 10 years
Khalid Adem wept in court as the verdict was announced
A man has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for the genital mutilation of his two-year-old daughter, in what is said to be first such case in the US.

Khalid Adem, an Ethiopian immigrant, was found guilty of aggravated battery and cruelty to children by the court in the state of Georgia.

Prosecutors said he used scissors to remove his daughter's clitoris in 2001.

A US women's rights group described the verdict as a victory against female genital mutilation worldwide.

Girl's testimony

Adem, 30, wept loudly as the jury's verdict was read in the town of Lawrenceville.

This was a violation of her rights as a child, her rights as a woman, and most of all her rights as a human being, she will never be the same
Fortunate Adem
Victim's mother

During the trial, he denied the charges and said he found the practice to be reprehensible.

The girl, who is now seven, had testified on videotape that her father "cut me on my private part".

The daughter's mother had said she did not discover that the child was mutilated until nearly two years later.

"This was a violation of her rights as a child, her rights as a woman, and most of all her rights as a human being, she will never be the same," Fortunate Adem said in the courtroom, according to a tape recording broadcast by local radio station WSB.

Equality Now, a US women's rights group, said it was the first recorded case of female genital mutilation in the country.

A recent report by the World Health Organization condemned genital mutilation, saying it caused infection, appalling pain and serious long-term injury.

The practice is part of tradition in a number of African countries.

Some communities there believe it helps to preserve a girl's honour.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The father's reaction to the verdict



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13 May 04 |  Health
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