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Detroit Doctors Indicted in Genital Mutilation Case

Image: Detroit Doctors Indicted in Genital Mutilation Case

FBI agents leave medical office in Livonia, Michigan. (Clarence Tabb Jr. /Detroit News via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 06:42 AM

Two Detroit-area doctors were indicted in federal court Wednesday in what CNN says is believed to be the first federal female genital mutilation case in the country.

Emergency room physician Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, and internal medicine physician Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, along with his wife, Farida Attar, 50, face one count of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation, two counts of female genital mutilation and one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

Nagarwala and Attar also face one count of conspiracy to transport a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity – which could get them a life sentence, noted CNN.

"Female Genital Mutilation has serious implications for the health and well-being of girls and women," said acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch. "This brutal practice is conducted on girls for one reason, to control them as women. FGM will not be tolerated in the United States. The federal government is continuing this investigation to ensure those responsible are brought to justice."

Prosecutors charged that the trio targeted young girls for years in what authorities described as a barbaric and illegal ritual, reported the Detroit Free Press. Prosecutors claim that the three lied, deleted evidence, and tried to hush others in their religious community about their practice when law enforcement closed in.

"Today's indictments represent the continued commitment of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to protect the most vulnerable of victims, our children, from those that would do them harm," said David P. Gelios, the FBI's Detroit special agent in charge.

"The practice of female genital mutilation cannot be defended in any context and we will identify and bring those responsible for conducting or participating in this disturbing crime to justice."

Through their attorneys, the Attars and Nagarwala denied any wrongdoing and said they were frightened after their arrests, per the Free Press.

The three defendants are part of a small Indian-Muslim community known as the Dawoodi Bohra, which was part of an Australian genital-cutting prosecution in 2015. Three people were imprisoned there.

According to the Detroit News, the indictment also alleged a link between a Dawoodi Bohra community in Minnesota and the Detroit area sect.

"The Dawoodi Bohras do not support the violation of any U.S. law, local, state or federal," an organization that oversees the Dawoodi Bohra community in Detroit, told the Free Press. "We offer our assistance to the investigating authorities. Any violation of U.S. law is counter to instructions to our community members. It does not reflect the everyday lives of the Dawoodi Bohras in America. … We take our religion seriously but our culture is modern and forward-looking."

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Two Detroit-area doctors were indicted in federal court Wednesday in what CNN says is believed to be the first federal female genital mutilation case in the country.
detroit, doctors, indicted, genital, mutilation
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2017-42-27
Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 06:42 AM
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