100,000 women undergo genital mutilation in Britain and some are 10 -year-olds


London, April 23 2012,  by Pamela Owen, Dalily Mail

As many as 100,000 women in Britain have undergone female genital mutilations with medics in the UK offering to carry out the illegal procedure on girls as young as 10, it has been reported.

Investigators from The Sunday Times said they secretly filmed a doctor, dentist and alternative medicine practitioner who were allegedly willing to perform circumcisions or arrange for the operation to be carried out.

The doctor and dentist deny any wrongdoing.

The practice, which involves the surgical removal of external genitalia and in some cases the stitching of the vaginal opening, is illegal in Britain and carries up to a 14 year prison sentence.

It is also against the law to arrange FGM.

Cases of Female Genital Mutilation are increasing across the UK but not one person has been prosecuted for any offencesCases of Female Genital Mutilation are increasing across the UK but not one person has been prosecuted for any offences

Known as ‘cutting’, the procedure is traditionally carried out for cultural reasons and in Africa and with large numbers of immigration from countries like Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia it is becoming more common in the UK.

It is believed to be proof of a girl’s ‘purity’ for when she marries, but victims often suffer in silence and are rarely given anaesthetic.

They frequently suffer long-term damage and pain and often struggle to stand or walk properly.

Supermodel turned UN ambassador Waris Dirie was mutilated aged 5Supermodel turned UN ambassador Waris Dirie was mutilated aged 5

Research suggests that every year up to 6,000 girls in London are at risk of the potentially fatal procedure, and more than 22,000 in the UK as a whole.

The Metropolitan Police said since 2008, it had received 166 reports of people who fear they are at risk of FGM but it has failed to bring forward a single perpetrator.

It is the same for all 43 forces across England and Wales with no convictions for the offence ever taking place.

Only two doctors have ever been struck off by The General Medical Council since 1980.

The Sunday Times uncovered a respected dentist who was prepared to circumcise two girls, aged 10 and 13 and a GP who referred an undercover reporter to the dentist.

They also spoke to a supplier who deals in alternative medicine who offered to circumcise a 10 year-old girl for £750.

A midwife in Birmingham also said she had seen the number of mutilations in the area treble since 2002.

Alison Byrne, a specialist midwife at the Birmingham’s Heartlands hospital who has helped pioneer treatment for women suffering from the condition said she has had patients aged between 16 and 40.

She said she had some women who had been left with an opening the size of a matchstick through which to pass urine and menstrual blood.

Ms Byrne added that as a result many of the women developed severe infections and can continuously bleed for days on end.

Marie Colvin Killed in Syria, and the Story She Paid With Her Life to Tell


Peter Bouckaert

Published in:  The Daily Beast, FEBRUARY 22, 2012

She took to wearing a black patch over the eye she lost when shot in the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2001, and always seemed to have a notepad and a pen in her hand. She was inevitably in the midst of war’s chaos before the rest of us got there, proudly filing,as she did on Tuesday, as “the only British newspaper journalist” at the scene. She was a legend to all of us who cover conflict, and universally beloved for her inspiring courage and deep commitment to the work of reporting.

On Tuesday, after she filed her horror-filled account from Homs for her paper, The Sunday Times, she got in touch on Facebook to tell me just how horrific the situation in Homs was. We had worked closely together in Libya for the past year, strengthening an occasional friendship over the years into a deep and affectionate bond. As she was preparing to enter Syria last week, we compared notes several times, looking at the routes into the besieged city of Homs and assessing the risks she would face. Her drive and determination to report—to witness—overcame all of her fears, and she was absolutely determined to get in, somehow.

Our conversation reminded me of what a unique person Marie Colvin was—an amazing journalist for sure, always first on the scene, but also a deeply caring human being who was never overcome by the cynicism and egotism that plagues the world of war reporting.

Her story for The Times was behind a pay wall, so many could not read her powerful account of atrocities in Syria. She first encouraged our Facebook group of conflict journalists and rights reporters to post her latest story from Homs, saying she wasn’t technically competent enough to do it, and saying that she’d face “the firing squad” at her paper for the lost revenue, explaining “I don’t often do this, but it is sickening what is happening here.” Many of us commended her for her courage, and then a journalist, believing she had already left Homs, expressed his relief that she was safe. She responded in her usual funny fashion, relishing the dark humor of war correspondents:

“I think the reports of my survival may be exaggerated. I’m in Babo Amr. Sickening, trying to understand how the world can stand by and I should be hardened by now. Watched a baby die today. Shrapnel, doctors could do nothing. His little tummy just heaved and heaved until it stopped. Feeling helpless. As well as cold! ….

Read more here

 

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