Three metro Detroit residents are being charged with various crimes related to the performance of female genital mutilation (FGM) on two young girls from Minnesota. Dr. Jumana Nagarwala (44), was arrested on April 12th and is being charged with “transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity,” the legal reference to FGM surgery, as well as making false statements to a federal officer. Following her arrest, Federal prosecutors arrested Dr. Fakhruddin Attar (53), and his wife Farida Attar (50), for conspiring with Nagarwala to commit FGM and for aiding and abetting Female Genital Mutilation. These charges follow an FBI investigation that commenced in February, as it is believed that this illegal practice was also performed on other young Michigan residents.
According to the complaint, the victims were told by their parents that they were going on a “girl’s trip,” but were instead taken to the Livonia clinic of Dr. Nagarwala. The alleged cause for the visit was “stomach pain”. It was there that the girls were given a procedure ‘to get the germs out.’ After enduring the barbaric procedure the girls complained about pain and being able to “barely walk.”
Female Genital Mutilation, often practiced in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, involves cutting, removing, or sewing closed all or part of a girl’s or woman’s external genitals for no medical reason. This custom is used for cultural or religious reasons and can lead to long-term mental and physical health problems. Female Genital Mutilation is illegal in the United States and many other countries. The case against Nagarwala and her accomplices is said to be the first case to be brought under 18 U.S.C. 116, which criminalizes the practice.
Under 18 U.S.C. 116 (a), “whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.” Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed these illegal acts on the victims in question and will be held accountable under Federal Law. The investigation into Dr. Ngarwala is ongoing and there are believed to be other victims. Anyone with information about the illegal practice of FGM surgery or Dr. Nagarwala is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5984) or file an e-tip at FBI.gov/FGM.