Islamic Sydney Doctor, Wife Deny Genital Mutilation of Daughters
A doctor and his pharmacist-wife from Sydney, New South Wales, denied participating in the genital mutilation of their two daughters. The couple, who belong to a small Islamic sect, appeared on Wednesday at the Parramatta Local Court to face two charges of female circumcision.
Court records said that the first procedure was in metropolitan Sydney and the second in the NSW south coast which took place the past two years when the girls were only six- and seven-years-old then.
The couple, ages 42 and 35, has several co-accused including a 58-year-old sheikh who was charged with being an accessory to the genital mutilation. Court records said the sheikh told locals in the past months to lie to investigators about the practice of female circumcision in their community.
John Sutton, the solicitor of the couple, told the court that the accused belong to a very small religious community but the charges are not linked with their Islamic faith since it was not part of a religious act or rite.
The procedure was allegedly performed by a 68-year-old retired nurse who is charged with mutilation and is scheduled to appear on Oct 3 at the Campbelltown Local Court. (continue reading...)