Two more arrested in MI genital mutilation case

Erica Roy
April 23, 2017

Last week, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was charged in what the Justice Department said was likely the first case of its kind to be prosecuted since the federal government criminalized female genital mutilation. Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Faida Attar, 50, of Livonia, were arrested Friday morning, the Justice Department said.

A followup exam by a Minnesota doctor revealed that the girls' genitals had been altered.According to surveillance video outside the clinic, Nagarwala, Attar and Attar's wife were all there.

A second MI doctor, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, and his wife, Farida Attar, have been charged in association with a federal female genital mutilation law.

Matt Newburg, a lawyer for Farida Attar, declined to comment. Dr 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 Detroit News later identified the community as Dawoodi Bohra, a small Shi'ite Muslim community with origins in South Asia.

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

The World Health Organization said the practice of removing or injuring female genital organs has no known health benefits. Some say it is done to suppress female sexuality and control women.

The owner of a medical clinic and his wife are charged with participating in the female genital mutilation of young girls in Livonia. He said Nagarwala only saw the patients at BMC when the clinic was closed and that Farida used to be present in the examining room while Nagarwala treated the minor girls.

Federal child forensic interviewers have talked to several MI children who said that Nagarwala had performed genital mutilation on them. She potentially faces life in prison.

FGM is an internationally recognized human rights violation, with all 193 members of the United Nations committed to eliminating the practice.

After arriving at a hotel, the girls were taken to the doctor "to get the germs out" because "our tummies hurt", she said, according to court filings.

"The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law", Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch said in the DOJ statement. Some of the girls allegedly traveled to the clinic, which is midway between Detroit and Ann Arbor, from out of state.

The report also found that while female genital mutilation was a crime under federal and many state laws, there were few investigations or prosecutions stemming from it - because of underreporting and other problems, The Washington Post's Matt Zapotosky reported.

Chartier declined to speak in detail on the couple's religious beliefs but said to expect more will be revealed in court Wednesday.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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