US doctor charged with genital mutilation on girls

Photo of Jumana Nagarwala. (henryford.com)
Updated 14 April 2017

US doctor charged with genital mutilation on girls

NEW YORK: A US doctor in Detroit has been arrested and charged with carrying out female genital mutilation on girls aged six to eight, prosecutors said Thursday.
Emergency room doctor Jumana Nagarwala, 44, of Northville, Michigan, is accused of carrying out the widely condemned practice — illegal in the United States — for 12 years from a medical office in Livonia, Michigan.
She appeared in a US federal court in Detroit on Thursday and was remanded into custody until at least Monday, said a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office.
If convicted at trial she faces a maximum sentence of life behind bars.
Congress passed a law in 1996 making it illegal to perform genital mutilation or cutting in the United States on anyone under than 18. Twenty-five US states also have laws prohibiting the practice.
Prosecutors in Michigan say they believe it is the first case of its kind brought under the federal law.
Some of Nagarwala’s victims traveled from outside Michigan and were told not to talk about the procedure, prosecutors said.
“Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco.
“The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse.”
“The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law,” said acting US Attorney Daniel Lemisch.
In 2006, a court in Georgia found a man guilty of sexually mutilating his two-year-old daughter with a pair of scissors, in what was then the first recorded case of female genital mutilation in the United States.
The Ethiopian immigrant was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated battery and cruelty to children for the 2001 crime.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 513,000 women and girls in the United States in 2012 were at risk of or had been subjected to female genital mutilation or cutting.
The estimate was three times higher than one based on 1990 data, due to increased immigration from countries where genital mutilation is practiced.
Globally, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have suffered some form of female genital mutilation across 30 countries, according to the United Nations.
While concentrated in Africa, it is common in some communities in Asia, Arab states and Latin America. Half of those cut live in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia, according to the UN.


Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

Updated 18 January 2021

Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

  • The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 107 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest toll in nearly a month as authorities tested thousands of residents after an outbreak in an old residential building located in a busy commercial and residential area last week.
The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases. At its peak in July 2020 the city logged 149 new infections.
Dozens of infections were found last week in a densely packed apartment building in Yau Tsim Mong, a teeming district in the city’s Kowloon area.
Authorities thereafter ordered mandatory testing on hundreds of people living in the area and neighboring streets.
Hong Kong has recorded nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases and 162 deaths since the start of 2020.
Businesses are reeling from ongoing COVID-19 restrictions which have banned gatherings of more than two people and closed sport facilities, beauty salons and all restaurants for dining after 18:00 local time.