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Article Dans Une Revue Legal Medicine Année : 2021

Case study: Lesions due to forced ritual scarification in Cameroon – A warning from cultural anthropology to forensic medicine

Résumé

Asylum seekers and refugees are constantly increasing worldwide because of human rights' violations and political-related abuses. As a result, some of them show scars due to torture and other forms of maltreatments. In addition, they may also present scars due to ethnical practices, namely ritual scarifications. This case study presents a victim who did not give consent to perform such ethnical practices on her body. The authors aim to enlighten the difficulty to understand the origin and the purpose of these specific injuries and the importance to know how to distinguish them from other forms of abuse. Indeed, it appears that such lesions follow a cultural path, meaning that the lesions are performed methodically and may show macroscopic differences compared to others. The story narrated by the victim can be helpful for the experts' assessment, regardless, they may present memory-loss issues. This represents the value of a correct injuries' diagnosis and the importance of cultural anthropology-related analyses. The cultural and social background are relevant since the injuries have their own signification because of their symbolism. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach with a cultural anthropologist may have the possibility to help the forensic experts in understanding and interpreting such stories fostering their ability to better assess asylum seekers stories and their reliability.
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Dates et versions

hal-03653269 , version 1 (27-04-2022)

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Citer

Anne-Sophie Bonnet, Maria Carlotta F. Gorio, Francesca Magli, Laurent Martrille, Cristina Cattaneo. Case study: Lesions due to forced ritual scarification in Cameroon – A warning from cultural anthropology to forensic medicine. Legal Medicine, 2021, 53, pp.101913. ⟨10.1016/j.legalmed.2021.101913⟩. ⟨hal-03653269⟩

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