A federal grand jury has returned the first-ever indictment regarding the specific allegation of circumcision, excision or infibulation of a minor’s labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.
Zahra Badri, 39, a resident of Houston originally from the United Kingdom, is set to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in the near future.
The indictment alleges from on or about July 10 through Oct. 14, 2016, Badri knowingly transported a minor from the United States in foreign commerce for the purpose of female genital mutilation.
“Female genital mutilation is child abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. “The long term damage, both physically and physiologically, is well documented. Unnecessary medical procedures on children will not be tolerated.”
“The brutal practice of female genital mutilation not only subjects victims to the immediate trauma of the violent act, but also often condemns them to suffer a lifetime of physical and psychological harms,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General David P. Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This indictment represents the first time the Department has brought charges against a defendant for transporting a child outside U.S. borders to facilitate this abhorrent form of gender-based violence and demonstrates that we will not rest in pursuing and holding to account those who engage in this cruelty.”
The FBI’s Houston Field Office conducted the investigation with the support of the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).