Numerous leaders in Moscow take on
female circumcision question
C.H.R. APPEALS TO PROSECUTOR GENERAL REGARDING FEMALE CIRCUMCISION
Interfax-Religiia, 19 August 2016
The Council on Human Rights (C.H.R.) under the president of the RF sent to the Office of the Prosecutor General available materials on the question of female circumcision and intends to discuss the problem with specialists.
"We made such an appeal (to the prosecutor's office—IF), there is such an appeal, but we are not publishing it. This is not PR; this is a serious matter," said the head of the C.H.R., Mikhail Fedotov, on a broadcast from radio station "Echo of Moscow."
He said the council plans to discuss the problem with specialists and also to react to the answer that it receives from the monitoring agency.
"We agreed that we will discuss this topic with the prosecutor's office, the Ministry of Health, psychologists, and representatives of the Ministry of Education, but not in public space so as not to blow the topic up out of proportion," he added.
The C.H.R. also sent to the prosecutor's office an investigation of the "Civil Initiative." M. Fedotov said that its importance is in the presentation of information about the scale of the problem, on the basis of which it would be possible to begin to eradicate the problem where it exists.
As reported, the head of the Commission on Support of Family, Children, and Maternity of the Public Chamber of the RF, singer Diana Gurtskaia, sent to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika a request to examine information about the conduct of operations of female circumcision in several regions of the northern Caucasus and particularly in Dagestan.
Earlier on the website of the rights advocacy foundation "Legal Initiative," a report was published about the practice of female circumcision in Dagestan, which provoked heated discussion on the Internet. Consequences of the operations are connected with reduced sensitivity and sexual desire in women who are subjected to this procedure. This was also confirmed by respondents, its practitioners, and expert physicians, the report says.
The materials of the foundation show that female circumcision in the region is used mainly in mountain villages in Tsumadin, Botlikh, Tsuntin, and Bezhtin regions. It noted that girls up to the age of three years, and in rare cases up to 12 years, are subjected to the operation.
The report notes that these operations are considered to be violations of the rights of women and girls on the international level, inasmuch as they represent an extreme form of discrimination and violence. Female circumcision is very rarely performed in a hospital, and often after an underground operation there is infection and bleeding.
However, despite the fact that women who have been subjected to circumcision justify this practice and speak in favor of its preservation in the new generations, the procedure of the operation itself has left a strong residue in their psyche. Women who are subjected to circumcision recall the pain and stress, and many often do not understand why this operation was done on them, the published report says. (tr. by PDS, posted 19 August 2016)
PUBLIC CHAMBER TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING ON DRAFT REGARDING PUNISHMENT FOR FEMALE CIRCUMCISION
RIA Novosti, 19 August 2016
The Public Chamber of the RF will conduct a public hearing regarding a draft law proposing criminal accountability for female circumcision, the chairwoman of the Commission on Support of Family, Children, and Maternity, the singer Diana Gurtskaia, told RIA Novosti.
The organization "Legal Initiative" published a report which says that in some residential areas of remote regions of Dagestan, the surgical operation is conducted, which consists of deliberate injury to the genitalia of minor girls. Opera singer and State Duma deputy Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs suggested introducing criminal liability for discrimination against women and minor girls that appears in their circumcision.
"The Commission on Support of Family, Children, and Maternity will conduct public hearings on the draft of the federal law that was introduced by a deputy from the United Russia fraction, Maria Maksakova. There have been many debates and insinuations around this topic in recent days. At times it is impossible to tell where there is an obscene joke and where there is a serious position. Now there is the legal text of a draft law. We will work with them, along with colleagues from the State Duma and Federation Council, civil activists and religious leaders," Gurtskaia declared. (tr. by PDS, posted 19 August 2016)
IN STATE DUMA—PROPOSAL TO INTRODUCE CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR CIRCUMCISION OF WOMEN
RIA Novosti, 19 August 2016
The famous opera singer and State Duma deputy Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs proposes introducing criminal accountability for discrimination against women and minor girls which is manifested in their circumcision, according to documents published in the data base of said lower house of parliament.
"In accordance with article 14 of the constitution, the Russian federation is a secular state. No sacred rituals can serve as justification for 'female circumcision,' inasmuch as thereby individual doctrines place their followers above the standards of the fundamental law of the country, which is the same for all citizens regardless of their religious views," Maksakova pointed out in the text of the explanatory note to her draft law.
The deputy considers that "due to the increasing incidents of 'female circumcision,' being performed in individual regions of our country, the necessity has arisen of introducing amendments into the Criminal Code of the Russian federation establishing additional measures for protection of the rights of persons of the female sex." Maksakova suggests supplementing article 136 of the Criminal Code of the RF, "Violation of the equality of rights and liberty of individual and citizen," with new provisions.
"Discrimination committed with respect to women on religious motives and expressed in partial or full removal of external genitalia, explained by purposes of religious ritual, is punished by incarceration for a period of from 5 to 7 years. Discrimination committed with respect to minors on religious motives and expressed in partial or full removal of external genitalia, explained by purposes of religious ritual, is punished by incarceration for a period of from 7 to 10 years," the deputy pointed out.
Earlier the organization "Legal Initiative" published a report which says that in several residential areas of remote regions of Dagestan, a surgical operation consisting of intentional damage to the genitalia of minor girls is being practiced. On Wednesday the chairwoman of the Commission for Support of Family, Children, and Maternity of the Public Chamber of the RF, Diana Gurtskaia, sent to Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika a request to conduct an investigation of this information.
The head of the Coordinating Center of Muslims of the northern Caucasus, Mufti Ismail Berdiev, explained his words about female circumcision that evoked a broad public resonance as a joke. Berdiev said that he only had in mind that in several districts of Dagestan the practice of circumcision of girls has spread, although "this is not in accordance with Muslim sharia." (tr. by PDS, posted 19 August 2016)
DEPUTY: IDEA OF PUNISHMENT FOR FEMALE CIRCUMCISION UNLIKELY TO BE IMPLEMENTED
RIA Novosti, 19 August 2016
The suggestion to introduce criminal liability for discrimination against women and girls involved in the tradition of female circumcision is difficult to implement, thinks Yuri Sinelshchikov, the vice-chairman of the State Duma Committee on Civil, Criminal, Arbitration, and Procedural Legislation.
The famous opera singer and State Duma deputy Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs introduced into the lower chamber of parliament on Friday a draft law which proposes to institute criminal accountability for discrimination against women and girls which is manifested in their circumcision. The deputy thinks that because of the increasing number of instances of female circumcision "being conducted in individual regions of the RF," the necessity has arisen to introduce amendments into the Criminal Code establishing additional measures of protection of the rights of persons of the female sex.
"I think that it is not realistic to guarantee in all cases the application of criminal law. After all the law should work and it should not be simply declarations. Probably it is first necessary to introduce all other necessary measures of prevention, and only then, when it will be accepted that this phenomenon does not have a mass character but is encountered in a minority of instances, then, maybe, institute it. . . . If all Muslims without exception think that it is necessary to do this, then how can we implement a law?" the lawmaker said.
Previously the organization "Legal Initiative" published a report which says that in some population areas in remote regions of Dagestan the surgical operation involving intentional damage to the genitalia of minor girls is practiced. On Wednesday, the chairman of the Commission on Support of the Family, Children, and Maternity of the Public Chamber of the RF, Diana Gurtskaia, sent to Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika a request to conduct a verification of this information. (tr. by PDS, posted 20 August 2016)
OMBUDSMAN MAY CONDUCT LEGAL AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES EXPERT ANALYSES ON QUESTION OF FEMALE CIRCUMCISION
Interfax-Religiia, 19 August 2016
Commissioner for Human Rights Tatiana Moskalkova is prepared to consider the problem of female circumcision in the event that relevant appeals from citizens come to her.
"So far there have not been such appeals. If there are, the commissioner will consider them," an advisor to the ombudsman, Aleksei Zlovedov, told Interfax.
The commissioner for human rights in Dagestan also has not communicated with T. Moskalkova on this problem, the news agency's source added. He said that in the event appeals arrive, the commissioner may conduct legal as well as religious studies expert analyses of the question. (tr. by PDS, posted 19 August 2016)
Editorial disclaimer: RRN does
not intend to certify the accuracy of information
presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the
accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the
articles as they appeared in news media of countries of
the former USSR.
If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL, http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/.