As the judges of Nièvre in central France delivered their judgement, the four girls ran towards the judges in tears and attempted to interrupt the announcement of the verdict.
Earlier, the girls appeared to defend their parents with one of them quoted saying: “I don’t see why these people should be facing a judgment because of us.”
The court said after a medical examination on the girls, it was discovered that the circumcision was “more or less incomplete…indicating that there was a mutilation.”
The case was brought before the court by an association against female genital mutilation in France.
Counselor Linda Well- Curiel, the French lawyer and head of the association described the sentence as “very equilibrated”.
She said”…and I do hope that this would be the very last time such a crime will be committed here.”
For her part, the French Minister for women’s rights said during the trial that she would press for a sentence that will be acceptable and I hope the court will listen to me and understand the situation of the women’s right groups.
Following the sentence, Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in a communiqué that “the French law will continue to protect the freedom and dignity of women.”
Rights groups described the trial as “historic” and expressed satisfaction over the sentence.
Dozens of similar cases have been tried in France over the years, but analysts said the drastic legal stance against the crime will eventually discourage people from the activity.
Culled: Africa Review