London woman guilty of aiding Kenyan female genital mutilation

LONDON (Reuters) – A woman from London has been found guilty of aiding the female genital mutilation (FGM) of a young girl in Kenya, becoming the first person to be convicted in England of committing the crime overseas, British prosecutors said on Thursday.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said police launched an investigation after the victim told a teacher in 2018 that she had been subjected to FGM in the African country years earlier as a young child.

Detectives found that Amina Noor, 39, was responsible for taking the girl to Kenya where the FGM was carried out by a Kenyan woman. Noor said in a police interview she believed the victim would be pierced or injected in a procedure known as “Gudniin” – an Arabic word meaning circumcision, the CPS said.

While Noor said the victim did not appear to be in pain, prosecutors said medical experts had found the girl had suffered severe mutilation which would have caused significant bleeding and extreme suffering.

“Female genital mutilation is an abhorrent offence which can have a physical and psychological impact on victims that lasts a lifetime,” said Senior Crown Prosecutor Patricia Strobino.

“The victim in this case was just a young child at the time; she would have had no ability to resist this appalling practice and undoubtedly suffered enormously.”

Noor, who was born in Somalia, was convicted by a jury at London’s Old Bailey court of assisting a non-UK person to mutilate the genitalia of a British citizen. She will be sentenced at a later date.

She is only the second person to have been convicted in England and Wales of an FGM offence, after a Ugandan mother was found guilty in 2019 of subjecting her 3-year-old daughter to the practice.

Prosecutors said they hoped the latest conviction would send a message that action would be taken against offenders regardless of where in the world the FGM was committed.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Christina Fincher)