More charges filed in Detroit in genital mutilation probe

Justin Greene
April 23, 2017

Federal agents arrested a MI doctor and his wife Friday on charges they abetted a fellow doctor in mutilating the genitals of two young Minnesota girls.

Investigators interviewed and examined two seven-year-old girls who appeared to have undergone FGM by Nagarwala in February this year.

He said his wife, 50-year-old Farida Attar, who works as the clinic's office manager, stays in the examining room to hold their hands, according to court records.

Fakhruddin Attar told federal agents that Nagarwala sees minor girls five to six times a year "for problems with their genitals, including treatment of genital rashes", and that she does not charge for her procedures. His wife's lawyer declined to comment.

Nagarwala, charged with performing genital mutilation on two minor girls, has denied the allegations, saying she merely performed a religious ritual for families of a Muslim sect.

The FBI's Detroit Field Division has set up a tip line for anyone who has information pertaining to the illegal practice of FGM or Dr Jumana Nagarwala, Fakhruddin Attar, or Farida Attar at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5984). The first victim was told the procedure was meant "to get the germs out" of her.

Fakhruddin Attar is the treasurer of the Anjuman-e-Najmi mosque.

Genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision or cutting, has been condemned by the United Nations and outlawed in the U.S. But the practice is common for girls in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The compliant against the Attars said that the couple arranged and assisted in the female genital mutilation of minor females performed by Nagarwala.

The Attars were arrested around 9:30 a.m. Friday at Burhani Medical Clinic and federal agents were spotted inside the clinic.

Senior officials last week called the charges alleged in the case "disturbing" and "deplorable", and said USA law enforcement agencies "are committed to doing whatever is necessary to bring an end to this barbaric practice, and to ensure no additional children fall victim to this procedure".

The case marks the first time FGM has been prosecuted under federal law.

The Attars have "no criminal history whatsoever", she said, adding that they're "certainly no flight risk", having gone about their lives as normal after Nagarwala was arrested.

Congress passed a law in 1996 making it illegal to perform genital mutilation or cutting in the USA on anyone under than 18. The World Health Organization considers the procedure a violation of human rights of girls and women. Telephone records, hotel bills and surveillance video were said to show that the girls traveled to MI with their mothers.

At a December summit on FGM in Washington, "a woman stood up and said, 'I'm white, I'm Christian, I'm from the Midwest, and this happened to me, ' " Quast said.

Medical examinations of the Minnesota victims after their visit to Metro Detroit showed abnormal genitalia that had scar tissue and small lacerations, investigators said.

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