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Solidarity Against Female Genital Mutilation
by Irfan Al-Alawi
Late in March, British authorities undertook their first prosecutions against female genital mutilation, which has been prohibited in the United Kingdom since 2003. As revealed by BBC News on March 21, "Dr. Dhanuson Dharmasena, 31, of Ilford, east London, will be prosecuted for an alleged offence while working at the Whittington Hospital in London. Hasan Mohamed, 40, of Holloway, north London, faces a charge of intentionally encouraging female genital mutilation."
The two accused appeared in Westminster Magistrates' Court on April 15, were granted bail, and ordered to present themselves at Southwark Crown Court on May 2. According to the BBC, director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders said the Crown Prosecution Service was asked by the Metropolitan Police to examine allegations that "following a patient giving birth in November 2012, a doctor at the Whittington Hospital repaired female genital mutilation that had previously been performed on the woman, allegedly carrying out female genital mutilation himself."
Ms. 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 (Section) 1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003).
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