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Woman who cede British girl, 3, for FGM in Kenya given seven years

Woman who cede British girl, 3, for FGM in Kenya given seven years

Woman who cede British girl, 3, for FGM in Kenya given seven years

A woman who was found guilty of handing over a three-year-old British girl for female genital mutilation (FGM) during a trip to Kenya has been jailed for seven years.

Amina Noor, 40, was convicted last year of assisting a Kenyan woman to carry out the procedure overseas in 2006. The conviction was the first for assisting in such harm under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.

Mr Justice Bryan, sentencing Noor to seven years at the Old Bailey on Friday, described the crime as “truly horrific and abhorrent”.

FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia and is considered a violation of the rights of women and girls. In 2012 the UN passed a resolution to ban FGM, but it is still practised in about 30 countries.

In 2006, Noor, then 22, travelled from Harrow in north-west London to Kenya with the toddler, who was taken to a private home and subjected to FGM.

The crime came to light years later when the girl was 16 and confided in her English teacher at school. On Friday, the judge said he hoped her “bravery” would encourage others to come forward to report incidents. The victim, who is now 21, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The only other successful prosecution under the 2003 act was in 2019 when a Ugandan woman from Walthamstow, east London, was jailed for 11 years for cutting a three-year-old girl.

The court heard that when spoken to, the defendant said she thought the procedure was just an injection and that afterwards the girl was “happy and able to run around and play”. But when the girl was examined in 2019, it emerged her clitoris had been removed.

According to an initial account, Noor described going with another woman to a “clinic” where the girl was called into a room for a procedure. The defendant said she was invited in but refused because she was “scared and worried”. Afterwards, the girl cried the whole night and complained of pain, according to the account.

Jurors were told the defendant was born in Somalia and moved to Kenya at the age of eight during the civil war in Somalia. She was 16 when she came to the UK and was later granted British citizenship.

Giving evidence in her trial, Noor said she was threatened with being “cursed” and “disowned” within her community if she did not take part in the FGM. In a later police interview under caution, Noor denied that anyone had made threats against her before the girl was harmed.

Faty Kane, a girls’ rights senior adviser at ActionAid UK, welcomed Friday’s sentencing. “It’s distressing to hear of any young girl going through this act of violence, let alone a three-year-old girl.

“In communities where we work, including in Kenya, we have seen the severe physical, psychological and social consequences that FGM/C can have on girls and women for the rest of their lives. We can only hope that today’s verdict delivers not only justice for the survivor but that it helps her to cope with the trauma and distress it has caused her,” said Kane.

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