Page last updated at 00:15 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009

Dane guilty of genital mutilation

Map Denmark

A Danish woman has been convicted of having two of her daughters genitally mutilated in Denmark's first such case to come before a court.

The mother, who is of African origin, was also accused with her husband of planning a trip to Sudan to circumcise another daughter, aged five.

She was given a two-year sentence but freed, AFP news agency says, as she had already spent four months in jail.

A 2003 law makes genital mutilation punishable by up to six years in jail.

The father of the two girls, aged 10 and 12, said he did not know what was happening and was acquitted.

Female circumcision is most common in Africa. It involves the surgical removal of a young girl's clitoris or other genital parts.

Some 100 to 140 million girls and women around the world have undergone genital mutilation, including 6.5 million in Western countries, according to a 2007 study by the French National Institute for Demographic Research.

Female circumcision can cause death through haemorrhaging and later complications during childbirth. It also carries risks of infection, urinary tract problems and mental trauma.

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