DETROIT (WWJ) – Henry Ford Health System has fired the doctor at the center of a female genital mutilation case.
That’s according to an HFHS spokesperson who stressed that, although Dr. Jumana Nagarwala worked in Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, none of the alleged illegal acts took place there.
Nagarwala and two others, Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida Attar, are charged with female genital mutilation and conspiracy in a case that involves two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota. The three were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday.
Federal investigators say, last February, the young victims were brought to the Attars’ Livonia clinic, where Nagarwala allegedly performed female genital mutilation on them.
WWJ’s John Hewett reports Nagarwala — dressed in an orange jumpsuit and head scarf, handcuffed and shackled at the ankles — stood mute to the charges at an arraignment Thursday.
A plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf. Considered a flight risk, she remains held without bond.
This is believed to be the first case brought under a federal law which criminalizes FGM, which typically involves the cutting of a girl’s genitals, often for cultural or religious reasons.
More than 100 million women and girls are believed to be living with the consequences of female genital mutilation, according to the World Health Organisation. WHO calls the practice, which is common in parts of Africa and the Middle East, “an international recognized violation of human rights of girls and women” that has no known health benefits.
Nagarwala is a member of a community that believes in the practice. However, though her attorney, she has denied any wrongdoing.
Meantime, investigators are concerned that there could be more victims. The FBI’s Detroit Field Division has set up a tip line for anyone who has information pertaining to the illegal practice of FGM, involving these three defendants or otherwise, at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5984). Tips can also be submitted online at FBI.gov/FGM.