Medics Offered Genital Mutilation, Report Says

Ian Woods, senior news correspondent

As many as 100,000 women in Britain may have been mutilated in the name of culture and religion, a report claims.

Female circumcision is performed on young girls and women around the world, especially in African countries.

Refugees who have come to the UK are perpetuating the practice, even though it is illegal.

The Sunday Times has uncovered what it claims is evidence of three medical practitioners offering advice on how it could be done, or in one case charging £750 to carry out the procedure.

The practice involves cutting the clitoris and stitching the wound and the vagina.

Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow is a dentist in Birmingham, but was filmed describing how the clitoris could be pierced with a needle and then clamped.

"Once they won't feel anything, then you cut with scissors. It will bleed. Then you take the stitches. You close."

When contacted by Sky News he denied he said ever been involved in the act.

"I have not referred anyone for this treatment. I am a dentist. I am aware of female genital mutilation and have campaigned against it."

Yet he was he recorded by the Sunday Times apparently agreeing to mutilate two young girls, aged 10 and 13, in secret:

Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow: I will do it for you.
Sunday Times reporter: Thank you.
Addow: Nobody should know. Between you me and Allah only.

The Sunday Times say they were put in touch with the Birmingham dentist by Dr Ali Mao Aweys, who has practices in Birmingham and London and was recorded suggesting it was safer to have the surgery outside the UK.

"Yes it must have (sic) confidential. But I think it's better if you go to Africa, and then do, and then stay for 14 days, and then I give you some medication you can take and then give them."

When Sky News visited his practice in north London his receptionist told us he was not prepared to comment and asked us to leave.

But he may have to speak to the General Medical Council .

The council's chief executive, Niall Dixon, said he was concerned and has begun an investigation.

Mohammad Sahib describes himself as an alternative medicine practitioner and the newspaper said he wanted £750 to perform surgery on the genitalia.

The newspaper secretly recorded this exchange:

Sunday Times (ST): You'll cut the clitoris?
Mohammad Sahib (MS): Yeah
ST: You'll cut with blade?
MB: Yeah
ST: You'll do it here?
MB: Yeah.
ST: What about stitching? Sew it?
MB: Yes I can do both.

There is no medical justification for any of these procedures.

And despite them being illegal, no one in Britain has ever been prosecuted for being involved.

Equality Now campaigner Efua Dorkenoo told Sky News: "Members of the community,family members know about it... there's a lot of pressure.

"And if you expose it you could be ostracised and you could be persecuted in the community.

"So people are frightened of coming forward."

Somali-born supermodel Waris Dirie , who was mutilated as a child, is an vociferous opponent of the practice.

Calling for a crackdown on it, she said: "If a white girl is abused, the police come break down the door. If a black girl is mutilated, nobody takes care of her.

"This is what I call racism."