Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Doctor in female genital mutilation hearing: Manchester tribunal to decide over first UK prosecution

Doctor in female genital mutilation hearing: Manchester tribunal to decide over first UK prosecution

By Danielle Wainwright

A doctor accused of performing female genital mutilation on a patient may be the first person to be prosecuted in the UK for the procedure as he goes before a tribunal in Manchester today.

Dr Sureshkumar Vallabhdas Pandya, who practices in London, is also accused of giving inadequate post-operative care and advice to the patient which was misleading and dishonest.

Female genital mutilation has been illegal in the UK for the past 28 years and around 20,000 girls under 15 are at risk.

The procedure, which is thought to have been performed on 66,000 women in the UK, is often carried out for religious or cultural reasons and is often fatal because of contaminated equipment.

In November, two men were arrested for the alleged mutilation of a baby girl with a prosecution expected to follow however the Crown Prosecution Service were told that police would not bring charges unless there was evidence of the crime.

Labour politician Keith Vaz announced the launch of an official enquiry into female genital mutilation in an attempt to end the procedure and to see justice for the victims.

He told the Evening Standard: “It is astonishing that since FGM was made a crime in 1985 nobody has been prosecuted.

“This is a concern both to the diaspora communities and also the NHS and it is important that light is cast on this practice and action is taken.

“That is why this committee is launching an inquiry into FGM. We are keen to hear from any victims and those who have been affected by this practice.”

Dr Pandya will go before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to also answer for disorganised record keeping.

Image courtesy of Guardian Films via YouTube, with thanks.

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