Ms Justice Russell concluded the six-year-old’s father would come under pressure to have her ‘mutilated’ if he took her to Guinea and has imposed an FGM protection order
A man has been barred from taking his six-year-old daughter out of the UK by a High Court judge after the girl’s English mother raised fears she might be subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).
Ms Justice Russell was told that the girl’s father came from Guinea, West Africa, where the practice of FGM was ‘widespread’.
The judge concluded that the man would come under pressure to have his daughter ‘mutilated’ if he took her to Guinea and has imposed an FGM protection order.
She had analysed the case at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in November and has revealed detail in a written ruling.
Ms Justice Russell said she had heard evidence from the girl’s mother and father, who are separated, plus other family members, and from an academic who had carried out research into the practice of FGM in Guinea and other West African countries.
She said she barred the man from taking the youngster out of the UK because there were no direct flights and all travel to Guinea took place via a third country.
The girl, who the judge said cannot be identified, lives with her mother in the south east of England.
Her father, who is in his 30s, was born in Conakry, Guinea.
The man, who has ‘black African Muslim heritage’, travelled to the UK more than a decade ago to study.
He met the girl’s mother, who is in her 40s and of ‘white English Christian heritage’, through an ‘online introduction site’. They had married in Conakry in 2007.
Ms Justice Russell said an FGM protection order would stay in force until the girl turns 17.
The female genital mutilation protection will stay in order until the girl turns 17 (file photo shows a traditional razor blade used to perform FGM)
Legislation providing for the making of FGM protection orders came into force more than two years ago.
The youngster’s mother was represented by barrister Zimran Samuel, who specialises in legal issues surrounding FGM.
In 2015, Mr Samuel said FGM protection orders wound ‘make a very real difference’.
They aimed to protect potential victims rather than punish offenders, could put barriers in front of people who posed a threat, and give comfort and support to vulnerable females.