Become an OC Media Member

Support independent journalism in the Caucasus: Join today

Become a member

Daghestan Prosecutor’s Office receives reply in FGM probe

17 January 2017

Human rights group Legal Initiative passed the results of 42 interviews conducted for a study on female genital mutilation in Daghestan to the Prosecutor’s Office.

On 13 December, Daghestan’s Prosecutor’s Office officially requested information on respondents who participated in Legal Initiative’s study of female genital mutilation. The request asked not only for information on the occurrence of the illegal operations, but also the personal data of victims and perpetrators interviewed in the study, as well as the interviewers and experts involved.

According to Legal Initiative, the organisation’s reply to the Prosecutor’s Office noted that respondents answered questions on a pre-designed questionnaire on condition of absolute anonymity, and that their personal data wasn’t processed.

Legal Initiative requested that the Prosecutor’s Office turn to Daghestan’s Ombudsperson for Children in order to begin to address the problem.

‘We suggested several options in our report, such as legislative measures aimed at eliminating these customs and practices, collection and dissemination of basic data about such traditions and practices, and support to national and local women’s organisations who are working on the elimination of female circumcision and other practices harmful to women’s health. It is necessary to start educational campaigns on the republican level aimed at target groups, including religious leaders, midwives, persons performing mutilation, local leaders, and traditional healers. And, of course, it is necessary to conduct religious education and dialogue with religious leaders’, writes senior lawyer at Legal Initiatives, Yuliya Antonova, who co-authored the study.

The study on the practice of female genital mutilation in Daghestan was published on the organisation’s website on 15 August 2016. During the study it became apparent that female genital mutilation was practiced actively in Daghestan and will most certainly be practiced in the future.