(CNSNews.com) — Ethiopian citizen Khalid Adem, 41, who was living in Georgia in 2006 when he was convicted of committing the federal crime of female genital mutiliation (FGM) of his own 2-year-old daughter using scissors, was deported to Ethiopia by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday, March 13. Adem, who was convicted in Gwinett County, Ga., had served 10 years in prison for his crime.
As ICE stated in a press release, “Khalid Adem, 41, a native and citizen of Ethiopia was convicted in Gwinnett Country, Georgia, of aggravated battery and cruelty to children in the first degree on Nov. 1, 2006, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.”
“Using scissors, Adem mutilated the genitals of his 2-year-old daughter,” reported ICE. “Adem was ordered removed Oct. 31, 2016, based on his criminal convictions. Adem’s case is believed to be the first criminal conviction in the United States for female genital mutilation, and became the catalyst for the specific criminalization of female genital mutilation under Georgia state law.”
Sean W. Gallagher, the field office director for the Atlanta ERO Field Office, said, “A young girl’s life has been forever scarred by this horrible crime. The elimination of female genital mutilation/cutting has broad implications for the health and human rights of women and girls, as well as societies at large.”
A young girl, after her genitals are mutilated (“circumcised”), has her legs bound together
so she walks only with short steps to allow her genitals to heal.
(Screenshot from video report by The Guardian newspaper.)
At the 2006 trial, the victim’s mother, Fortunate Adem, said, “This was a violation of her rights as a child, her rights as a woman, and most of all her rights as a human being, she will never be the same.” The mother also testified that her husband said he wanted to preserve his daughter’s virginity by cutting off the prepuce of her clitoris. “He said it was the will of God,” claimed Fortunate Adem.
ICE states that “any involvement” in female genital mutiliation is a “serious human rights violation.” People who commit this crime, even sending girls abroad to have it done, may go to prison and potentially face removal from the United States.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The practice of FGM/C is most common in the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, as well as some countries in the Middle East and Asia. FGM/C refers to cutting and other procedures that injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”
“One form of cutting, called infibulation, involves sealing up the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urination and passage of menstrual flow,” said HHS. “FGM/C is typically performed on young girls who may not understand what is being done to them or why.”
While FGM or cutting is not exclusive to Islam, it is “supported in contemporary interpretation of Islamic scripture and has been endorsed by Islamic religious leaders,” according to the Clarion Project and the Center for Security Policy. “Sharia law manuals require and support the practice. Muslims in America still practice FGM.”