The barbarity of being kept in the dark ages
The Daily Telegraph
September 14, 2012 12:00AM
A SYDNEY sheik accused of involvement in the barbaric "genital circumcision" of sisters aged 6 and 7 is alleged to have told his Muslim community to lie about its widespread practice.
Police claim Sheik Shabbir Mohammedbhai Vaziri told members of the Dawoodi Bohra community at Auburn to lie to police when they questioned them over the mutilations.
Vaziri, 56, of Auburn, Helen Magennis, 68, a retired nurse of Campbelltown, and the children's parents have all been charged in relation to the alleged acts on the girls.
Police allege the procedures were carried out by Magennis.
A strike force of seven detectives from the NSW sex crimes unit was set up after an anonymous tip to the Department of Community Services several months ago.
It is the first time anyone has been charged with the offence in relation to children after legislation was passed in 1994.
Genital mutilation may not be isolated
A MAN has appeared in a Sydney court charged over the genital mutilation of two girls aged six and seven.
Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward said she did not believe genital mutilation was rare in NSW.
Ms Goward said that female genital mutilation was an "abhorrent practice" and "a form of child abuse".
The two children are still in the care of their parents.
"They are good parents," NSW sex crimes unit head Detective Superintendent John Kerlatic said.
"It may seem a contradiction to say that when the parents are facing such serious charges. But they are not in any danger of any physical abuse."
The alleged genital mutilations occurred in the past 18 months at homes in Sydney.
Vaziri appeared in Burwood court yesterday on two counts of being an accessory after the fact to female genital mutilation, and hindering the police investigation.
Police allege Vaziri hindered the investigation by telling people to lie about the extent of female genital mutilation.
Magistrate Chris Longley said despite what many people would see as very serious charges, he was granting bail under strict conditions.
He said police opposed bail saying Vaziri was a flight risk.
Mr Longley ordered Vaziri surrender his passport and report to Auburn police daily and appear in Parramatta Local Court on September 26.
The parents were charged last Friday, granted bail and ordered to reappear in court on September 26.
Magennis is alleged to have carried out the procedure and was granted bail to reappear on October 3.