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London Lawyer Forced Daughter to Undergo Genital Mutilation Procedure Twice
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Summary: A London solicitor is accused of forcing his daughter to have a female genital mutilation procedure done as “punishment” more than once.

A London solicitor is accused of forcing his eldest daughter to undergo a brutal female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure more than once. According to Thomson Reuters Foundation News, the Central Criminal Court heard the case against the lawyer on Monday.

  
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The court heard how the girl first underwent the procedure in their London home when she was nine-years-old. A person came to their home and cut her with a razor blade while she was held down in the hallway. The girl was subjected to the same treatment again when she was 16 and the first wound had healed.

FGM is a problem because some cultures view the act as an important stage in a girl’s development. However, this was not the motivation in this instance. Prosecutor Mark Heywood said, “This was not apparently (done) out of any cultural or family reasons, but more – at least as she understood it – in the way of a punishment.”

The 50-year-old lawyer is not named in order to protect the victim. He denies the two charges of FGM, two charges of wounding with intent, and three counts of child cruelty between 2009 and 2016. FGM has been illegal in Britain since 1985.

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Heywood told the court that the defendant had someone else come to the house to “repeatedly” cut the victim “in a series of deliberate actions, causing serious injury to her small body in the area of her vagina.” The victim is unable to identify who the person was but claims her father was “egging them on.” Heywood further explained, “She was not given medicine or pain killers. She begged for them to stop. It bled a lot.”

The girl described feeling “deep cuts inside” but was “too scared” to look herself. A gynecologist confirmed after a physical exam of the girl last year that she had scarring consistent with her claims.



Heywood described the father, originally from West Africa, as “harsh and cruel”. He was known to hit his children with a cane. The marriage with his wife, also from West Africa, had apparently fallen apart.

The father’s defense council, Kate Bex, told a different version of her client. She told the jury he was a devout Roman Catholic who was a “loving, caring father.” He claims the allegations are a product of “a very acrimonious divorce.”

She also indicated that they will be arguing that FGM is predominantly done by women out of a superstitious belief that it preserves a girl’s chastity and ensures social acceptance. It is not seen as a punishment.

Do you think there should be harsher punishments for those that perform FGM and for those that allow it to happen? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about other mutilation cases, read these articles:

Photo: maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com



 

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