Statement: Amina Noor FGM Sentencing

Last year Amina Noor, 40, from London, was found guilty of aiding the female genital mutilation of a young British child in Kenya, in the first conviction of its kind.

The landmark decision, made at the Old Bailey on Thursday 26th October 2023, was the first time that someone in England and Wales has been convicted of FGM offences that were committed abroad. The offence carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

Today, Noor was jailed for seven years at the Old Bailey.

Afrah Qassim, Savera UK CEO and Founder, said: “We welcome both this landmark conviction and sentencing decision, as it sends a strong message that FGM is a harmful and abusive practice and a violation of human rights, and will not be tolerated under any circumstances, whether committed in the UK or abroad.

“It tells those who believe in these practices that FGM is a crime and those who perpetrate it will be held accountable. It also demonstrates to those at risk or under threat of FGM, or survivors of the practice, that they can seek help and that they will be listened to and believed.

“While this sentencing is a step in the right direction, seven years is nothing compared to the lifelong physical and psychological impact of FGM. We would like to commend the survivor who sought help and spoke out against what happened to her as a child. Her bravery has set a precedent that will help so many other survivors and people at risk.”

The crime took place when Noor took the then three-year-old girl to Kenya to be subjected to the practice, but was only reported years later when the girl confided in a school teacher at the age of 16. She is now 21 years old, and cannot be named for legal reasons.

During the trial Noor told the court that she feared being “disowned and cursed” by community members if she didn’t take part and said that it was a practice that had gone on for cultural reasons for many years.

Afrah continued: “While custodial sentences will serve as a deterrent to potential perpetrators, it is also vital to highlight the importance of education and of speaking about this abhorrent practice.

“Many people wrongly believe that it is integral to their culture or religion, which has been demonstrated in this case, but this is categorically untrue, it is a crime and violation of human rights.

“Education and community outreach allows us to open dialogues, teach and communicate that FGM is abuse, while dispelling myths and empowering people to challenge this practice, seek help and report concerns.

“There should be a focus on funding and working closely with specialist agencies, like Savera UK, that are active in communities and working to educate and empower people to end FGM for good.”

Noor is also only the second in the UK to be convicted under the FGM Act of 2003. The only other successful prosecution for FGM was in 2019 when a Ugandan woman from Walthamstow, east London, was jailed for 11 years for cutting a three-year-old girl.

If you think that you or someone you know is at risk or under threat of FGM, you can call the Savera UK helpline on 0800 107 0726 (10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday, excluding Bank Holidays), or contact us online:

Professionals can contact the helpline on on 0800 107 0726 (10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday, excluding Bank Holidays), or get in touch with us online to seek advice or make a referral:

If the risk is immediate, please call 999