RH 2007:7

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["Anyone committing a breach of Section 1 is to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than four years. If the offense has caused danger to life, serious illness, or has involved conduct of an unusually ruthless character in some other respect, it shall be regarded as grave. For a grave offence the sentence is a term of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than ten years.] [A sentence for liability pursuant to Chapter 23 of the Penal Code is to be passed on anyone found guilty of attempting, preparing or conspiring to commit the above offence, or of failing to report it."] A girl who had been raised in Sweden and who knew nothing about genital cutting before going to Somalia, was while in Somalia, completely at the mercy of her father as her only caregiver. The girl had on two occasions tried to escape from Somalia in order to rejoin her mother in Sweden. After an initial failed attempt, the girl succeeded in fleeing. It was established that the operation had been performed after the first escape attempt, and it appeared to have been done both as a reprisal for the girl's attempt to escape and as a way to get her to conform to the will of the father, together with the fact that she was soon to be married off. At the time of the surgery, the girl was eleven to twelve years old. The court considered that the fact that the father took advantage of the girl's helplessness and the fact that it was particularly difficult for the girl to defend herself against the crime was an aggravating factor in sentencing. During the surgery, the girl was forced to lie down on her bed while her father and another man held her legs apart. Using a razor blade, a third man cut the girl's genitals. The Court of Appeal found that the act constituted serious assault and had been very abusive to the girl. The surgery was carried out without anesthesia, and not by a doctor or in a hospital but in the home of the father. Apart from the fact that the surgery was performed in a place where the girl should normally expect to be safe, the crime also exposed the girl to the risk of acute medical complications, and the risk of long-term psychological and physical harm was also evident. The physical damage was considered to be irreparable and may lead to future problems related to pregnancy and childbirth. Of importance is also the statement by the girl that she was terrified during the surgery. In an overall assessment, the Court of Appeal established the compensation for damages and additional compensation for pain and suffering and for travel expenses at a total of SEK 296,045. The father was also sentenced to two years imprisonment.



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