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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 February 2019

Mother first person convicted for FGM in UK

Ugandan mother first person to be found guilty of female genital mutilation in the UK

British law criminalises FGM. Getty Images
British law criminalises FGM. Getty Images

A mother has become the first person to be found guilty of carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

The 37-year-old Ugandan woman and her partner, both living in London, were accused of cutting their daughter in 2017.

The UK High Court warned of a "lengthy" jail term as remanded the woman into custody to be sentenced on 8 March.

Anyone found guilty of FGM face a sentence of up to 14 years in jail.

During the trial, the woman claimed her daughter "fell on metal and it's ripped her private parts" climbing to get a biscuit.

Jurors were told that the child had “lost a significant amount of blood as a result of the injuries they had delivered and inflicted on her”.

FGM is the act of cutting or partially harming the female external genitalia. It is practised in a number of African and Asian countries including Egypt, Somalia and Kenya.

British politician Johnny Mercer described FGM as “straight up child abuse” and urged men to “stand up and play their part” in particular.

“We have the first ever conviction for #FGM. I am so heartbroken we let this girl down but we have now given her some justice. To all those who say FGM is not an issue or it’s your culture be on notice that we will seek to do whatever we can to protect girls,” said anti-FGM campaigner Nimco Ali.

“I support banning & fighting FGM everywhere,” said human rights activist Mona Eltahawy on Twitter.

“I have to ask why it’s a mother who is 1st to be convicted & not doctor/practitioner/others who subject girls to this horror”.

Updated: February 1, 2019 08:58 PM

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