[ View the story "UK presses first charges on female genital mutilation" on Storify] UK presses first charges on female genital mutilation Charges in landmark case under 2003 law against British medical team.
The Stream· Wed, Mar 26 2014 11:18:57
In a statement posted on the CPS website, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders said:
“Having carefully considered all the available evidence, I have determined there is sufficient evidence and it would be in the public interest to prosecute Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena for an offence contrary to S1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003). “I have also determined that Hasan Mohamed should face one charge of intentionally encouraging an offence of FGM, contrary to section 44(1) of the Serious Crime Act (2007), and a second charge of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Dr Dharmasena to commit an offence contrary to S1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003).blog.cps.gov.uk
Many online applauded the announcement of Britain's first FGM prosecution.
First prosecution for#FGM in Britain. Good!meir
Really good news about the first prosecution of FGM in Britain, about time! Victor
@DexterDiasQC Britain's first prosecution is a big step forward. Let's hope many more to follow and FGM stopsRebecca Horne
Some added that official action against FGM should have happened earlier.
1st people charged in UK of #FGM which allegedly took place in a London hospital. Why has it taken almost 3 decades to prosecute? #impunityMaria McDonald
First prosecution for FGM in Britain today. Long overdue but definitely a step in the right direction.Sabrina Sahota
Crown prosecution service announces first ever UK FGM charges. Progress, but enraging that it was criminalised almost 30 years ago.Naomi Thompson
In 2012, the
National Health Service
(NHS) estimated 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK each year, and about 66,000 women are living with the consequences of the practise. London hospitals are
an increase in patients treated for FGM, with numbers nearing 4,000 since 2009.
the fact fgm actually happens in the uk should make everyone disgusted that we let it happenmaddie
If FGM is illegal in UK how come it happened in a london hospital? Tip of the iceberg? Our country our rules, so abide by them or get out!Sandra Lawrence
@ICRW @TR_Foundation A debate between cultural relativism and human rights...hoping Britain can set precedent for zero tolerance for FGM.Ashley Lackovich
60,000 women in the UK have been victims of #FGM yet only now do we get our first prosecution #disgustingSteven George-Hilley
Dr. Katrina Erskine, head of obstetrics at Homerton Hospital
the charges as putting politics before welfare and said they would deter medical staff from caring for affected women.
“I have yet to see anyone born in the UK who has had FGM. I know it happens, but it is rare. All the women I have seen with FGM were born outside the UK and were cut before they arrived here.”independent.co.uk
The DPP faced pressure to explain why there were no prosecutions in the UK despite police receiving about 144 complaints in recent years. Dr. Erskine told The Independent:
“We heard about the prosecution on Friday and everyone is up in arms. It will put off midwives and doctors involved in caring for women with FGM and it distracts from where our main focus should be which is on driving out the real practice of FGM which is barbaric. I cannot help suspecting this has something to do with the DPP being up before the Home Affairs Select Committee and she needs something to say.”independent.co.uk
@Heytheist @BaddAssAtheist @QueenLareefer1 agree to some extent that there is a political motivation,as gov had turned a PC blind eye to itCogitoErgoSumAtheus
@JeremyLaurance Katrina Erskine's comments are interesting. But we need a proper prevalence survey to establish the extent of FGM.Diane Abbott MP
Peter Brocklehurst, Director of the Institute for Women's Health at University College London,
the landmark case made medical staff afraid "about what they can and can't do to control haemorrhaging" after victims of FGM give birth. "A lot of obstetricians and midwives right now will be feeling terrified about how to act. ...women may be waiting and bleeding in the meantime," he said.
Thanks to Layla Roderick for pitching this story on