Another Doctor Charged With Female Genital Mutilation

Another Doctor Charged With Female Genital Mutilation

Building on a case in which two girls were victims of genital mutilation, U.S. federal agents have arrested a doctor and his wife on allegations of helping to arrange the procedures.

Using telephone records and video surveillance, investigators tracked two Minnesota couples and their 7-year-old daughters as they visited Nagarwal at the Livonia clinic. Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Faida Attar, 50, of Livonia, were arrested Friday morning, the Justice Department said.

Dr. Nagarwala's lawyer says the doctor performed a religious procedure by removing tissue from the girl. As of Friday, the doctor who owns the clinic and his wife have both been arrested and charged in connection with the case. His wife's lawyer declined to comment. Her attorney, Shannon Smith, said the doctor removed mucous from the Minnesota girls as part of a religious custom.

Nagarwala and the Attars are members of the same Indian-Muslim sect, Dawoodi Bohra, a branch of which also exists in Minnesota, where the young victims live. She did not charge money to perform the procedures and did not fill out paperwork, according to courtroom testimony.

Fakhruddin Attar, MD, of Livonia, Michigan.

Female genital mutilation involves partial or total removal of a girl's clitoris, and - in some cases - the skin surrounding the clitoris and the inner folds of the vulva.

The genital mutilation operation is practiced by sects of certain cultures in Africa and Asia with the intent of reducing sexual stimulation in women, thereby, theoretically, reducing promiscuity and sex drive.

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Federal prosecutors say this is the first time someone has been charged with violating a US ban on genital mutilation.

It's the first time someone has been charged with violating a US ban on genital mutilation.

Prosecutors said she performed the procedure on at least three MI girls but Nagarwala has not been charged in connection with those cases amid an ongoing investigation.

The second girl said she screamed in pain after the procedure, and that afterward "she could barely walk, and that she felt pain all the way down to her ankle". The trio are believed to be the first charged under a federal law that criminalises the procedure. It's widely recognized as a human rights violation against girls and women, and human rights advocates have long advocated against the practice.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security began investigating Nagarwala earlier this year after receiving a tip that she was performing FGM.

The organizations, which operates out of a mosque in Farmington Hills, stressed that it has issued a written statement instructing its members not to practice genital mutilation because it is illegal in the U.S. Telephone records, hotel bills and surveillance video were said to show that the girls traveled to MI with their mothers.

"I think it's shocking", Chartier said.

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