U.S. authorities have charged a Detroit doctor with performing genital mutilation on 7-year-old girls in what is believed to be the first case brought under a law prohibiting the procedure.
Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency room physician at a Detroit hospital who performed the procedures at an unnamed medical clinic in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, was scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls,” acting U.S. Attorney in Detroit Daniel Lemisch said in a statement. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”
Female genital mutilation, or FGM, typically involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and is barred by numerous international treaties. The practice is common in several African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Egypt, where it is often a cultural or religious tradition.