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Prosecutors in Russia's Dagestan Begin Investigation Into FGM

Prosecutors in Russia's southern republic of Dagestan have launched an investigation into reports of female genital mutilation (FGM) taking place in the region, the state-run TASS news agency reported Friday.

The investigation is taking place on the orders of Russia's General Prosecutor's Office, said spokesperson for the Dagestan Prosecutor's Office, Tatyana Golubova.

A report on the practice of FGM in the Russian republic of Dagestan was published in August by the Russian Justice Initiative human rights foundation. The report found that the practice was taking place predominantly in five mountainous areas of the republic, where the operation is normally performed on girls under the age of three.

A new bill, submitted to Russia's State Duma by United Russia deputy Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs, has set forth a prison sentence of up to 10 years for those found carrying out FGM on children.

FGM is an internationally-recognized crime. As well as being at a higher risk of maternal mortality, women who have undergone FGM often report difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, fertility problems, chronic pain, and psychological trauma.

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