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Muslim woman victim of genital mutilation had vagina sewn shut five times

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mali-womanA MUSLIM woman who was a victim of genital mutilation had her vagina sewn shut and re-opened five times according to horrific details revealed by the US Attorney General.

Her vagina was reopened to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth, he added.

The grotesque details emerged as Attorney General Michael Mukasey stepped in to stop another muslim woman from being returned to her African home where she too was a victim of female genital mutilation.
He ordered an immigration court to reconsider an African woman's case, savaging an earlier decision which stated that since the 28-year-old Mali woman had already been mutilated there was no further need for concern.

Mukasey called the finding "flawed" and sent the case back to the Board of Immigration Appeals with orders to reconsider.

The woman begged the court not to send her back to her Bambara tribe in Mali.

She said if she was sent back and had a daughter, the child also would be subject to mutilation. The woman also said she faced forced marriage if she had to go home.

Quoting what he concluded were two significant factual errors in the court's rejection of her appeal the Attorney General said: “Female genital mutilation is not necessarily a one-time event.”

He noted that the board in a previous case had granted asylum in to one woman whose "vaginal opening was sewn shut approximately five times after being opened to allow for sexual intercourse and child birth."

He also concluded that the Board of Immigration Appeals was wrong to assume that the woman "must fear persecution in exactly the same form [namely, repeat female genital mutilation] to qualify for relief."

Mukasey had been urged to look into the matter by angered members of Congress in the wake of the January decision.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, issued a statement applauding Mukasey's action, and declaring female genital mutilation a "barbaric practice widely regarded as a human rights abuse."

Female genital mutilation is common in parts of Africa, Asia and in some Arab countries, according to the United Nations. The operation is viewed by some ethnic groups as a means to control a woman's sexuality and is sometimes a prerequisite for marriage or the right to inherit.

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