Encounter With Uber Driver Results in FGM Arrest

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A chance encounter between an Uber driver and an anti-FGM campaigner resulted in an arrest and trial of the driver for FGM offenses in the UK.

Sami Ullah, 29, a trustee for the charity Integrate, got into the car of a Somalian Uber driver. While making small talk, the conversation turned to FGM. While the driver (who cannot be identified for legal reasons) agreed with Ullah that FGM was wrong, he said that he had had his daughter cut.

“I did the small one to my daughter. Other people did the big one, but I did the small one.”

Ullah asked the driver if he knew that the procedure was illegal, to which the driver replied that it was “custom and tradition,” saying, “some people did it and some people don’t.”

The driver then asked Ullah, “Do you know why we do it?” to which he answered, “It’s so women don’t feel sexy all the time.”

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After Ullah got out, he used his Uber app to identify the driver. He then called the police.

An examination by a specialist showed that the daughter had indeed been cut – not in the severest form but nevertheless in a way that is classified as FGM.

Since the driver did not perform the procedure himself on his daughter, he was charged with cruelty to a child under the age of 16 years, having responsibility for a child under that age and willfully assaulting/ill-treating/abandoning the child to cause unnecessary suffering or injury.

The case in now in trial.



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