Doctor denies genital mutilation; judge keeps her locked up


In the US, genital mutilation qualifies as a criminal sexual act, as the intent of the procedure is considered to abuse, humiliate, harass or degrade.

In a Monday hearing, a judge pronounced Nagarwala a "danger to the community".

The girls were told to keep it secret, records show, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation found out.

"We were shocked by the allegations", Henry Ford Health System said in statement last week.

"We understand that this is a very serious case", Smith said.

Congress passed a law in 1996 making it illegal to perform genital mutilation or cutting in the United States on anyone under 18 years.

The complaint against Nagarwala, who is accused of performing FGM procedures late at night at a Livonia clinic, involves two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota who were kept in the dark about the reason for their trip to MI in February and were told to keep quiet about what happened after they arrived.

The decision in the case against Dr. Jumana Nagarwala capped a tense 90-minute hearing in front of a standing-room-only crowd in federal court that shed light on a controversial medical procedure and a small sect of Shia Muslims in Metro Detroit.

Federal officials say the procedures occurred after business hours at a clinic in Livonia.

Despite testimony from an examining physician claiming the two girls were badly mutilated, the defense argues, it didn't happen. According to the complaint, federal investigators at some point received a tip that Nagarwala had performed genital mutilation on two young girls in Livonia, so they followed up with an investigation.

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Shelby Quast, an global lawyer and Policy Director for Equality Now, a nonprofit that works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls, says she fears FGM could become partially normalized if medical professionals perform it. "The practice has no place in modern society, and those who perform (female genital mutilation) on minors will be held accountable under federal law", stated Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch.

"Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls". The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and previous year UNICEF estimated that 200 million women alive today in 30 countries - 27 African nations, Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen - have undergone the procedure. "The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners, are committed to doing whatever necessary to bring an end to this barbaric practice and to ensure no additional children fall victim to this procedure", said David Gelios, Detroit's FBI chief. They visited the doctor, the 7-year-old said, "because our tummies hurt" and underwent a procedure "to get the germs out".

Check out NewsGram for latest worldwide news updates. Under the 1996 law, it is illegal to both perform the practice in the USA and to transport a girl out of the undergo the procedure.

The practice is rooted in attempts to control women's sexuality and ideas about purity, modesty and beauty that persist in some communities. This mutilation, performed on girls ranging from infancy to age 15, is a "violation of the human rights of girls and women". According to WHO, there are no health or sanitary benefits to FGM, and it harms the victims.

Bergstrom and other women discussed the issue in a video produced by the U.S. State Department and posted online last month.

According to court documents, investigators relied on cellphone records and surveillance video to piece together the case against Nagarwala. Adem, who cut off his 2-year-old daughter's clitoris with a pair of scissors, was prosecuted under a different statute than Nagarwala.

On Tuesday, authorities spoke with Nagarwala, who according to court records, volunteered to be interviewed by a Homeland Security agent and MI child protective services personnel.