Michigan Judge Sets $4.5 Million Bond for FGM Doctor Until Federal Trial on Mutilation Charges
Doctor Is Charged with for Mutilating Genitals of Two 7-Year-Old Girls and Faces Life in Prison; Mothers Have Also Been Indicted
Washington, D.C.—A federal judge today set a $4.5 million bond today for Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who will be released pending trial after being charged with conspiracy, genital mutilation, transporting minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, lying to a federal agent and obstructing an official proceeding. If convicted, Nagarwala could face up to life in prison.
Elizabeth Yore, international child rights advocate and leader of the #EndFGMToday initiative, released the following statement today after attending the important female genital mutilation hearing.
“Despite the Court’s stringent conditions on her bond, #EndFGMToday is very concerned about the release and flight risk of Dr. Jumana Nagarwala pending the outcome of her criminal trial,” Yore said. “The facts that this defendant has been charged with lying to federal agents, faces a life sentence if she is convicted of female genital mutilation and was arrested while boarding a flight to Kenya at Detroit International Airport demonstrate her utter contempt for the rule of law. With many supporters pooling their resources to make her bond, Nagarwala serves as the main defendant and the central hub of this particular FGM underground network. As such, she poses a danger to society and a grave flight risk. While the facts of this case will be horrifying for these little girls to relive, the shocking details that will emerge from Dr. Nagarwala’s upcoming trial will raise awareness about the barbaric practice of FGM.”
A CBS Detroit affiliate has also reported that federal prosecutors indicted two Minnesota mothers who are accused of taking their two 7-year-old daughters to Michigan to have their genitals mutilated. These indictments come after six others—including several doctors—were charged in connection with FGM procedures in a Livonia, Michigan, clinic.
Additional defendants who were indicted in the second superseding indictment were also arraigned today in court, Yore said.
“EndFGMToday is heartened that federal law enforcement is uncovering the vast and secret underground network of FGM trafficking,” Yore added. “The U.S. government is sending a powerful message that this barbaric assault on little girls will not be tolerated. It is absolutely essential that the full force and power of the federal government work to end FGM by prosecuting the criminals who perpetuate this abomination and the parents who submit their daughters to it. We urge everyone to speak up, report this child abuse to law enforcement and urge state legislators to criminalize this procedure in every state.”
The facts of the Michigan case thus far, Yore added, provide grim reminders of the FGM-induced physical and emotional scars that are faced, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, by as many as 513,000 girls and women right here in America.
Nagarwala is a practicing Muslim in the Dawoodi Bohra sect, which sanctions FGM on little girls to curb sexual desire and discourage any proclivity for premarital or extramarital affairs, Yore reported. Twenty-two Dawoodi Bohra mosques exist in the United States, prompting Yore to conclude that the incidence of mutilation of women and girls is likely considerably higher than reported, even though FGM is a federal crime in the U.S.
Learn more at www.EndFGMToday.com and on social media at #EndFGMToday about FGM and efforts underway in the U.S. to stop it.