INS To Argue Female Genital Mutilation Grounds for Political Asylum
The Immigration and Naturalization Service has announced that it will argue in court that female genital mutilation is grounds for political asylum in the U.S. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a procedure where a woman's genitals are partly or totally removed -- sometimes without sterilized instruments or painkillers -- effects millions of women around the world. The INS declaration is in response to the case of a woman from Togo who was told by a Philadelphia judge that her story of FGM was unbelievable and was insufficient grounds for being granted political asylum. Fauziya Kasinga, 20, testified that she feared for her life when she learned that she would be forced to undergo the tribal custom. The INS stresses that the plea for asylum will only be granted if the woman proves that if she resists the procedure she would face persecution in her home country. Kasinga has been in jail since her 1994 arrival in the U.S. and is currently awaiting trial before an appeals board.
Take Action: Help Fauziya Kasinga Escape Female Genital Mutilation!
4-14-96: May 2nd Trial Set for Woman Seeking Asy
Media Resources: The Washington Post - April 24, 1996