Doctor faces life in prison for first case of FGM in US

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

A doctor in the US city of Detroit has been charged with carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) on young girls in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the country, reports BBC News.

Prosecutors said Jumana Nagarwala had been performing the practice on girls aged between six and eight for 12 years. She was investigated after the authorities received a tip-off and, the report says, if found guilty, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

FGM was made illegal in the US in 1996.

The report says in a voluntary interview with investigators, Dr Nagarwala denied being involved in any such procedure. But prosecutors said she had performed “horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims”. Some travelled to her practise from outside the state of Michigan and were told not to talk about the procedure, they added.

The report says Nagarwala appeared in a federal court in Detroit and was remanded in custody.

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls. It is also a serious federal felony in the United States,” acting US attorney Daniel Lemisch said. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

The report say the first recorded case of FGM in the US was in 2006, when an Ethiopian immigrant was jailed for 10 years for aggravated battery and cruelty to children for mutilating his two-year-old daughter five years earlier with a pair of scissors.

In 2012 the US authorities said more than 500,000 women and girls in the country had either been subjected to FGM or were at risk of it.

About 200m girls and women around the world have suffered some form of FGM, the UN says, with half living in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

BBC News report

Receive Medical Brief's free weekly e-newsletter



Related Posts

Thank you for subscribing to MedicalBrief


MedicalBrief is Africa’s premier medical news and research weekly newsletter. MedicalBrief is published every Thursday and delivered free of charge by email to over 33 000 health professionals.

Please consider completing the form below. The information you supply is optional and will only be used to compile a demographic profile of our subscribers. Your personal details will never be shared with a third party.


Thank you for taking the time to complete the form.