• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Woman gets seven years jail for assisting in genital mutilation

Amina Noor is only the second person to be convicted under the FGM Act of 2003 and the first convicted for committing the offence abroad

Representative Image – Doris Kemunto Onsomu, a health worker who used to perform medicalised female genital mutilation (FGM), shows the tools she utilised for the procedure during an interview at her house in Kisii, on November 27, 2023 (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

A woman was sentenced to seven years in jail by a judge on Friday (16) for aiding in the genital mutilation of a three-year-old girl while on a trip to Kenya.

Amina Noor, 40, was found guilty last year at the Old Bailey of assisting a non-UK person to carry out the procedure overseas some 18 years ago.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in Britain and many other nations. It is also a criminal offence for British nationals or permanent residents to perform or help to perform it overseas.

Noor was only the second person to be convicted under the FGM Act of 2003 and the first convicted for committing the offence abroad.

The only other successful prosecution was in 2019 when a Ugandan woman from Walthamstow, east London, was jailed for 11 years for cutting a three-year-old girl.

On handing out the seven-year term, judge Simon Bryan called Noor’s crime “truly horrific and abhorrent.”
He hoped that the victim’s “bravery” would encourage others to report similar crimes.

Noor, from Harrow in northwest London, was born in Somalia and came to the UK aged 16 where she was given British citizenship.

Prosecutor Deanna Heer told a jury that Noor had handed over the girl for so-called female circumcision during the visit to Kenya in 2006.

Noor told the court she had not expected the girl to be subjected to the procedure.

But Heer said: “Not only was the procedure carried out upon (the girl)…but the defendant had been discussing precisely the kind of FGM before she took (her) to that clinic.”

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is now aged 21 and a British citizen.

The crime came to light years later when she told her teacher at school.

The practice is common in some African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries and involves the partial or total removal of a young girl’s clitoris and labia.

The risky procedure is often carried out under unsterile conditions and can lead to severe complications.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to the practice.

(AFP)

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