Thursday, 27 April, 2017

Judge: Doctor in genital mutilation case a flight risk

Emergency-room doctor in US Arrested in Michigan for performing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on girls between ages of 6 and 8 U.S. doctor charged with performing female genital mutilation
Sammy Stanley | 19 April, 2017, 01:21

What about those conclusions, she asked the defense.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the emergency room physician who was recently accused of having performed the outlawed surgical procedure on multiple underaged patients was operating in an unnamed clinic, which was not affiliated with the Detroit hospital.

Defense Attorney told Shannon Smith said in spit of using a clinic, the procedure is done by the Muslim sect known as the Dawoodi Bohra, based in India with mosques across the US and around the world.She said the clinic was used to keep it sterile.

There are no known health benefits from female circumcision, but a wide range of complications can result: recurrent infections, difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, chronic pain, the development of cysts, an inability to get pregnant, complications during childbirth and even fatal bleeding.

Federal officials say the procedures occurred after business hours at a clinic in Livonia.

Norm Cohen was among the protesters who marched outside federal court.

Nagarwala had an initial court appearance before a USA magistrate Thursday in Detroit and was ordered detained until Monday, pending a further hearing on the felony charges she is facing, which specifically involve two 7-year-old girls she operated on in February.

Female genital mutilation involves cutting some of the most sensitive parts of a young girl's private parts to initiate them into adulthood, control their sexual desire, and the belief it will make them more desirable as marriage partners. The doctor, however, could get 10 years to life in prison for another crime she was charged with: transportation of an individual with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Not only is FGM a felony in the United States, it's also considered a human rights violation.

One of the girls told investigators they were brought to Detroit for a special "girls" trip.

According to prosecutors, Nagarwala was arrested Thursday while boarding an worldwide flight to Kenya, where she was going to visit a daughter.

"We were shocked by the allegations", Henry Ford Health System said in statement last week.

Nagarwala, a USA citizen and Johns Hopkins University-trained physician, was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport Thursday as she was about to board a flight bound for Africa. Her bio lists the languages she speaks as English and Gujarati, spoken by the Gujaratis, who hail from the western India state of Gujarat, the same ethnic area that Mahatma Gandhi came from. The parents of both girls told investigators they couldn't tell anyone about the procedure. Hotel and surveillance records backed up this allegation, placing the girls and their mothers at a hotel in Farmington Hills that same day, and then at the Livonia clinic, prosecutors said. During the hearing, Nagarwala's attorney said the feds have it all wrong. Search for "Nagarwala" or "female genital mutilation", and many women's sites say nothing of the story. She also said that she had no knowledge of the procedure being performed on anyone in her cultural community.

Authorities in Minnesota have filed child protection petitions for the girls, one of whom was removed from her family last week. She asked Nagarwala for advice on what she should say. The doctor has immediately been placed on administrative leave. "We need to take this into our schools and educate people that this is a practice that is affecting young girls in our country".

If convicted, Nagarwala faces a fine and up to five years in prison for performing female genital mutilation, also known as FGM.

On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub said there is "clear and convincing evidence that [Nagarwala] poses a danger to the community".

According to court records, she, volunteered to be interviewed by a Homeland Security agent and MI child protective services personnel.

What Is Female Genital Mutilation?

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