Two men face first female genital mutilation charges in UK

The first prosecutions in Britain over female genital mutilation have been announced. Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, from the Whittington Hospital in London, and Hasan Mohamed will be charged, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

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Government 'committed' to end practice of FGM

Theresa May says the government is committed to ending the practice of female genital mutilation, as the first British prosecutions, in connection with the act, were announced.

The government is absolutely committed to preventing and ending the harmful and illegal practice of female genital mutilation.

We are working with charities and frontline organisations to help improve awareness of the law on FGM and the health implications of this barbaric practice.

The charges announced by the CPS today are a matter for the courts. It would not be appropriate to comment on an individual case at this stage.

– Home Secretary Theresa May

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FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985

  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been a specific criminal offence in England and Wales since 1985.
  • Since 2003 it has been an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or assist the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal.
  • The maximum penalty was also increased in 2003 from 5 years to 14 years imprisonment.

CPS considering further cases of alleged FGM

The Crown Prosecution Service says it also looked at four other cases of alleged FGM - one of which was new and three that were reconsidered after decisions to take no further action - and found there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

One of the old cases involved a man calling an FGM helpline, intended for victims, to ask for the procedure to be carried out on his two daughters.

The new case involved two parents accused of taking their daughter abroad to have FGM.The CPS would not give details of the other two cases.

Prosecutors are considering another four cases of alleged FGM, and are in early discussions with police about another two.

Men to appear in court to face FGM charges on April 15

The Director of Public Prosecutions explained the FGM charges were brought after receiving information from the Metropolitan Police.

Alison Saunders said: “The CPS was asked to consider evidence in relation to this allegation of female genital mutilation (FGM) by the Metropolitan Police Service.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders. Credit: ITV News

"It was alleged that following a patient giving birth in November 2012, a doctor at the Whittington Hospital, in London, repaired FGM that had previously been performed on the patient, allegedly carrying out FGM himself."

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena has been charged with an offence contrary to the Female Genital Mutilation Act.

Hasan Mohamed will face one charge of intentionally encouraging an offence of FGM and a second charge of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Dr Dharmasena to commit an offence of FGM.

Both men will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on April 15.

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