FGM Conviction Amina Noor

FGM Conviction Amina Noor

In a landmark ruling that reaffirms the United Kingdom’s commitment to eradicating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the Old Bailey has recorded its first conviction for assisting an FGM offence committed overseas. Amina Noor, 40, has been sentenced to a term of seven years’ imprisonment for her role in facilitating the FGM of a three-year-old British girl in Kenya in 2006. This conviction establishes a significant legal precedent in the UK’s battle against FGM, a practice that causes irreversible damage to its victims.

“Freedom Charity has been actively engaging young men in the ‘Not in My Name’ campaign, aiming not only to galvanize young men and boys to stand against FGM but also to harness the power of education to eradicate these barbaric practices, which constitute child abuse.” Aneeta Prem MBE

The Case in Detail

At the Old Bailey, the trial concluded with Noor’s conviction on charges of assisting in the mutilation of a girl’s genitalia beyond UK borders, a clear breach of the FGM Act of 2003. The case centred on an incident where Noor escorted the young girl, who must remain anonymous for legal reasons, to Kenya. In an unregulated procedure performed by a person of uncertain medical standing, the child endured the removal of her clitoris — an act laden with immediate physical pain and the prospect of enduring psychological harm.

Mr. Justice Bryan, during sentencing, characterised the offence as “truly horrific and abhorrent,” highlighting the permanent impact on the victim due to Noor’s actions. The judge’s commentary underscored the heinous nature of the crime and the commendable bravery shown by the victim in stepping forward, which he aspired would embolden others to disclose similar incidents. He unequivocally decried the act, lamenting the inconceivability of an adult inflicting such an atrocity on a defenceless child.

The defence posited that Noor was under the misconception that the procedure would be comparatively less severe and that she was acting under substantial cultural and societal duress. Notwithstanding these mitigating contentions, the conviction delivers a definitive statement that the UK’s stance on FGM is uncompromising, independent of cultural or societal pressures.

“The fact that the victim, who has overcome her experiences to become a survivor, bravely disclosed her ordeal to her teacher at the age of 16 underscores the critical role of education in our crusade against FGM. It exemplifies why education is indispensable for prevention and offering channels to report and support those affected. Educators frequently represent the first safeguard against such violations, providing a trusted environment for children to voice their anxieties and experiences. Their pivotal position in detecting potential FGM cases and forestalling further trauma is indispensable. This case amplifies the need for thorough education about FGM, equipping educators with the necessary knowledge and resources to effectively safeguard and assist their pupils.” – Inspired by Aneeta Prem’s advocacy.

Freedom Charity’s Role in the Ongoing Struggle Against FGM

In the wake of the legal proceedings, the focus pivots to the extensive campaign against FGM, a domain where entities such as Freedom Charity are critical. Aneeta Prem’s establishment of Freedom Charity has been central to fostering awareness of FGM and other forms of dishonour-related abuse. Through educational pursuits, including Prem’s book “Cut Flowers,” and the creation of PSHE Association-accredited lesson plans, Freedom Charity endows young individuals with insights into the perils and actualities of FGM.

Additionally, Freedom Charity’s Red Triangle Campaign, emblematic of the resistance to FGM, has made a substantial impact on public dialogue regarding this urgent matter. By instigating discussions about FGM, the campaign aims to shatter the veil of secrecy that often envelops the practice and to promote a culture of preemption and assistance for survivors.