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16 EWN

NEWS

13 - 19 December 2012

www.euroweeklynews.com

Costa de Almería

Six years for man who performed ritual mutilation on baby daughter By Gabrielle Devon THE Supreme Court has confirmed a sixyear prison sentence for a Gambian man who carried out a ritual genital mutilation procedure on his daughter. The man, who had lived in Spain for 10 years, performed the mutilation when the girl was less than one year old, and was sentenced by Teruel Provincial Court. Her mother was sentenced to two years in prison after it was confirmed she was not aware that the procedure was illegal in Spain. The case was discovered during a routine check-up with the paediatrician. The father, said to be well-integrated in Spanish society, appealed the sentence in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it was a 3,000-year-old practice which, he said, in his country, ‘seeks to help the child fit in’. However, Judge Joaquin Gimenez said: “It is not culture, it is mutilation and discrimination of women.” Female genital mutilation is a practice carried out mainly in African and Asian

OUTLAWED TRADITION: Young girls at risk of 3,000-year-old practice. countries. Social Services in Spain attempt to contact families of girls whom they consider may be at risk of undergoing this procedure. They explain the dangers it involves, and attempt to

dissuade them from returning to their country of origin for the ritual to be performed or from having it carried out by clandestine witch-doctors residing in Spain.

Many of the families living in Spain apparently do not want to carry out the ritual, but upon returning to their countries of origin feel pressured into accepting it by their communities. Many believe that it is good for a woman’s health, maintaining cleanliness as there are no sexual secretions. Others believe that if a child touches its mother’s clitoris while being born, it will die. However, it is mainly used to prevent young girls from having sexual urges in order to maintain their virginity until marriage, something which assures they will be accepted by their future husbands. Many women allow the procedure as they believe it will pleasure their partners and guarantee a successful marriage. The origin of female genital mutilation is unknown and although it is carried out in many Muslim countries, it is not related to Islam or any other known religion. There are several types of genital mutilation, but all involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia.

Satellite TV under threat? Forget it, say TV doctors

REPORTS continue to put a question mark over free English-language satellite television channels in Spain. But the vast majority of television technicians, from the Costa Blanca in the north down to the Costa del Sol in the south, as well as in inland areas, say that if British channels are blocked to viewers in Spain, they will quickly be able to find ways around the move. “When the channels do go, which is pretty much a certainty, we will have a system in place that will have been tested to get your missing channels back,” said one television technician on the Costa del Sol, who requested not to be named. Over the last week, reports – including in some newspapers – have indicated that the BBC and ITV are planning to block channels seen by tens of thousands daily in Spain. The vast majority of viewers pay no monthly satellite fee, using either cards which they operate illegally here in Spain, or through satellite boxes for which they pay no fixed monthly fee; thereafter viewing BBC, ITV, Sky News, and numerous other channels without cost. Confusion initially set in, especially after Channel

TURN OFF: Channels blocked to viewers in Spain. 5 went off the airwaves a few days ago. Reports circulated that on December 16, all BBC and ITV channels would be blocked, but it has been impossible to get any television station officials in the UK to confirm – or deny – such claims. However, online Sky advisor Santhosh told EWN: “We confirm that there is no issue with the Sky signal and no changes to the Sky satellite. There will be no issue with any channels.” Many British expatriates – especially followers of some of the regular soap series including

Coronation Street and EastEnders – initially reacted to the reports that programmes would be blocked with horror. “If I can’t watch Coronation Street then I might as well go home,” pensioner Flora Relf, of Los Boliches on the Costa del Sol, said. Another TV technician in Spain confirmed he had received hundreds of calls from worried expatriates concerned over ‘the big satellite switch-off’, but commented: “There is no specific date when this might happen as the operators of the satellites give little or no warning when testing new frequencies.”

Costa de Almeria 13 - 19 December 2012 Issue 1432  

News in English from the Costa del Sol. Costa Blanca North, Costa Blanca South, Costa de Almeria, Axarquia - Malaga East and Mallorca.

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