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Dagestani Authorities "Haven't Found Proof" of Female Genital Mutilation

The Prosecutor's office in Russia's Republic of Dagestan announced Wednesday it hasn't found any proof of female genital mutilation (FGM) practices in the region, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported. “There are no grounds for prosecution,” the letter sent to the Civic Chamber member Diana Gurtskaya reads.

Earlier this year, Gurtskaya submitted a request to Russia's Prosecutor General's office, asking to investigate information about FGM being practiced in remote Dagestani villages. Her request followed a report on the practice of FGM in the Russian Republic of Dagestan, published by the Russia Justice Initiative NGO.

The study identified that the practice was taking place predominantly in five mountainous areas of the republic, where the operation is normally carried out on girls under the age of three. On rare occasions, girls as old as twelve had also been subjected to the operation, the report found.

Unsatisfied with the prosecutors' response to her request, Gurtskaya plans to complain to the authorities again. “The response from the Dagestani Prosecutor's office is an example of negligence of their duties. We are going to appeal to the Prosecutor General and ask him to conduct a thorough investigation instead of a formal report,” the activist was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

FGM is an internationally recognized crime, with the practice predominantly being carried out in northern Africa. As well as being at a higher risk of maternal mortality, women who have undergone FGM often report difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, chronic pain, and psychological trauma. 

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