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FGM: Woman guilty of taking child to Kenya for mutilation

Amina Noor
Amina Noor told the Old Bailey the mutilation is done for cultural reasons

By Jeremy Britton

A woman has been found guilty of taking a three-year-old British child to Kenya for female genital mutilation (FGM).

Amina Noor, 39, is the first person to be convicted of assisting a non-UK person to perform FGM.

Noor, from Harrow in north-west London, took the child to a private house for the procedure in 2006.

She had told the Old Bailey the mutilation is done for cultural reasons and was a procedure she herself had undergone as a child.

Noor, who was born in Somalia but has British citizenship, will be sentenced on 20 December.

It was only in 2015 that the girl – who is now aged 21 and who cannot be identified – confided to a schoolteacher that she had suffered FGM and police were informed.

Following an examination at University College Hospital in 2019 it was found that the girl’s clitoris had been completely removed.

‘No threats’

Giving evidence at her trial, Noor claimed she had come under cultural pressure to have the procedure performed.

Noor told her trial that she and another woman had taken the child in a tuk-tuk vehicle and she had been told to wait outside a house.

She claimed that she had only expected the girl’s genitals to be “touched” in a way that would cause them to bleed.

However, the prosecution said the jury could be sure the defendant knew that an act of FGM was to be performed – whether or not that was the removal of the girl’s clitoris or some form of physical injury for which there was no medical purpose.

Prosecutor Deanna Heer KC said Noor had repeatedly denied to police that she had been threatened to force her to agree to the procedure.

“She was asked three times if she had been threatened and three times she said there were no threats,” Ms Heer said.

But in her defence Noor claimed she feared being “disowned and cursed” by the community if she did not hand over the girl.

The prosecution also drew attention to the defendant’s behaviour at the time the FGM was carried out – for example, she had not asked whether the people involved were doctors or insisted on being present for the procedure.

FGM is a practice that is very widespread among the Somali community in East Africa, the court heard, with United Nations figures suggesting that 94% of women of Somali origin living in Kenya have undergone the procedure.

Source: BBC

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