What you need to know:
- The jury heard that Amina Noor later claimed she had not expected the girl to be subjected to the procedure.
- Police discovered Noor had taken the victim to Kenya years earlier where she was subjected to FGM by a Kenyan woman.
In a landmark ruling, a Somalia-born woman has been found guilty of handing over a British toddler for female genital mutilation (FGM) during a trip to Kenya 17 years ago.
Amina Noor, 39, denied assisting a non-UK person to mutilate the female genitalia of a British citizen overseas but was on Thursday convicted by a jury following a trial at the Old Bailey.
“It is the first time a person in England and Wales has been convicted of FGM offences committed abroad,” said Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) in a statement.
The jury heard that Noor, who was born in Somalia and migrated to the UK aged 16 where she was given British citizenship, later claimed she had not expected the girl to be subjected to the procedure.
An investigation was launched by the Metropolitan Police in November 2018 after the victim informed a teacher she had suffered FGM as a young child.
Police discovered Noor had taken the victim to Kenya years earlier where she was subjected to FGM by a Kenyan woman.
Noor claimed in a police interview that she believed the victim would be injected or pierced in a “procedure” known as “Gudniin” – an Arabic word meaning “circumcision”. She also claimed the victim did not appear to be in pain following the procedure.
However, medical experts who examined the victim found that she had not simply been injected, that she had suffered severe mutilation of her genitals.
“This is likely to have caused significant bleeding and extreme pain, especially if an astringent agent was used to stop the bleeding,” the Crown said.
“Female genital mutilation is a form of violence against women and girls, and in the latter case it is child abuse,” added Jaswant Narwal, CPS national lead for honour-based abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
“There are many complexities involved in prosecuting this type of offending, which can be committed in close-knit communities, historically, and abroad, but this is no barrier to the CPS prosecuting wherever our legal test is met.
“We are clear there is no place for this unacceptable practice in society. We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to safeguard and support victims of FGM and bring perpetrators to justice.”
FGM, which is commonly practiced in some African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, involves the partial or total removal of a young girl's clitoris and labia.
In Kenya, the Anti-FGM Board was established in 2013 following the passage of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2011.
According to the 2022 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, the country has 15 per cent prevalence, meaning 15 in 100 girls and women aged 15–49 have undergone the cut. This is still high, notwithstanding the remarkable progress recorded over the years.
The harmful psychological and physical consequences of the outlawed cultural practice are far-reaching, even though perpetrators do not intend to inflict harm.
The risky procedure is often carried out under unsterile conditions and can lead to severe complications.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to the practice.