SYDNEY (Web Desk) – Australia’s first prosecution of a female circumcision case ended with the two Sydney women being found guilty of the crime on Thursday, news-mail.com cited.
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A little girl was told to imagine she was a “princess in a garden” as her mother allowed a retired nurse to mutilate her genitals.
A NSW Supreme Court jury found the 72-year-old nurse – known only as KM – and the 38-year-old mother of the two child victims guilty of the violent assaults.
The mother and children cannot be named for legal reasons.
Their Dawoodi Bohra community spiritual leader, Shabbir Mohammedbhai Vaziri, was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact.
The mutilations happened when the girls turned seven, various media outlets reported.
The older sister, now 12, was told to imagine she was a “princess in a garden” while the former nurse cut her clitoris during the “khatna” ceremony, the court heard.
The court heard prayers were read from the Koran and the victim’s grandmother was present throughout the first attack, which took place at a Dawoodi Bohra community member’s house in Wollongong in 2009.
The younger child, now 10, was mutilated in her family’s Western Sydney home in 2012.
The court heard that each girl was stripped from the waist down, told to lie on a bed and warned to close her eyes as KM cut her clitoris with a sharp silver tool.
Justice Peter Johnson released the three defendants on bail despite the Crown’s concern they could leave the country.
The trio could be jailed for seven years when they are sentenced on February 5.
Barrister Robert Sutherland SC, for Vaziri, said the girls’ injuries were at the “lower end of the spectrum” so a non-custodial sentence could apply.
Justice Johnson said KC “must not in any way conduct or facilitate female genital mutilation” as part of her bail conditions.
Dawoodi Bohra is a Shia Muslim offshoot generally found in India, Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa.
Female circumcision – or genital mutilation – is a common practice in the Dawoodi Bohra community and is often considered a way to curb a young woman’s sexuality.