To journalister i Daily Mail har i en periode på fire måneder undersøkt forholdene rundt kjønnslemlestelse i Storbritannia. Journalistene er dypt foruroliget over funnene.
During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly «cut».
Journalistene refererer til at Metropolitan Police (MET), som har hovedansvaret for etterforskning av kjønnslemlestelse, mener at 66 000 jenter i Storbritannia er lemlestet. Dette skal endog være et ”forsiktig estimat”.
By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.
MET mener at tusener av jenter kommer til å bli lemlestet i nært forestående tid. Foreldrene betaler omskjærere rundt 40 £ per lemlesting.
And thousands more girls are at imminent risk as families club together to fly professional «cutters» from Africa to Britain. These women «elders» perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.
MET er så bekymret for situasjonen at en spesialenhet er opprettet for å etterforske lemlesti8ng og prøve å få saker for domstolen. Det utloves en belønning på 20 000 £ til den eller de som bidrar med informasjon som fører til domfellelse.
Storbritannia har rundt 600 000 etniske afrikanere. De aktuelle miljøene er svært lukket. Jenter som står overfor en forestående lemlesting, våger sjeldent å be om hjelp. Daily Mail snakket med en 15 år gammel somalisk jente. Hun ble lemlestet 11 år gammel. Hennes tillit og kjærlighet til de nærmeste voksne, er forsvunnet som dugg for solen etter det brutale møtet med omskjærer i London.
The girl is 15 years old but looks much younger. Her face has the fine-boned elegance typical of her native Somalia, but her accent belongs to the streets of East London. She is plainly terrified. That much is clear from the way she avoids eye contact and constantly fidgets in her chair.»Promise you won’t print my name or anything?» she implores repeatedly. «Promise no one will ever know that I’ve spoken to you? If people in my community find out, they’ll say that I’ve betrayed them and I’ll have to run away. And anyway, I don’t want my parents to be sent to jail.»With great courage, this British-Somali girl – she asks that we call her «Lali» – is about to describe a barbaric act of ritualised cruelty which has been perpetrated against her. Knowing the danger to which she is exposing herself, her anxiety is entirely understandable. (…).Lali is so determined that other girls should be spared the misery she has endured since the cutter came to call four years ago that, last week, she bravely told us her story.She was three years old when her family left impoverished, war-ravaged Somalia and settled in the East End of London, where her early childhood life seemed immeasurably better.Everything changed for Lali when she was 11 years old. One morning, her mother told her, quite casually, that they were to visit another Somali girl, whom she liked.»I thought I was just going to play with my friend, so I was happy,» Lali says quietly, avoiding eye contact.Soon after she arrived at the friend’s anonymous council house, however, cold reality dawned. In fact, Lali’s mother had secretly joined together with several other women to pay for a «cutter» to travel to London from Mogadishu to circumcise their daughters.»They believed it had to be done, otherwise we would never get a husband,’ Lali shrugs.What happened next was like a scene from medieval times. Her mother, other female relatives and family friends suddenly grabbed Lali and grappled her to the floor. Then, on cue, the strange woman came in, like a torturer with her bag of implements.»They held me down, and when the woman began cutting I screamed, so my friend’s sister put her hand tightly over my mouth,» she says. «I had known her and these other women all my life, and now they were doing … this.»
(…) «What happened to me has totally broken my trust in the women I loved,» she told us. «I didn’t believe my mother could let this happen. My love for her has changed.”
Strafferammen for lemlesting er 14 år. Men så lenge jenters underliv ikke helseundersøkes, kombinert med mangel på integrasjon og derav isolasjon, forblir lemlesting et ikke-tema for domstolene. Akkurat som i Norge.
Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, those involved could be jailed for 14 years. Yet the fact that no one has been prosecuted says much about the problems the police are facing.»There are thousands of girls being cut in your country,» says Waris Dirie spokesman Walter Hutschinger. «We are sure it’s going on, and on a very big scale. Your law is one of the most comprehensive in the world, but it is useless if nobody will help to implement it.
«We have been contacted by girls from all parts of Britain – London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Reading, Slough, Milton Keynes, Crawley – anywhere there are big African communities.»Many of these girls know they are about to be cut and are desperate for help, but they are even more afraid of what might happen to them if they come out in the open.»One young woman wrote recently to tell us that she was about to be taken home to Somalia to be cut, and she was terrified because her older sister had died after cutting. [To avoid detection, the mutilation is often done in a girl’s native country.]»She was thinking of running away – but she didn’t know where she could go or what she would do. The girl says genital mutilation has destroyed her family. We wrote back offering a meeting, but she has not been back in touch.’During our investigation, we found similar difficulty finding girls willing publicly to condemn a practice whose «virtues» are impressed upon them from infancy so that they are effectively brainwashed into believing it to be an essential step towards womanhood.
Somaliere har fortalt politiet at lemlesting er mer utbredt blant somaliere i Storbritannia enn i Somalia (merknad fra HRS: Påstanden kan vanskelig være korrekt, all den tid det anslås fra internasjonal hold som WHO, at opp mot 98 prosent av jentene i Somalia lemlestes. Men uttalelsen underbygger at lemlesting foregår i stor stil).
Among the many otherwise educated and reasonable British-African men we spoke to, however, few were willing to call a halt.With breathtaking sadism, their attitude was summed up by one man during an internet chat forum for Somalis living in Britain. «They should get their kintirs [Somalian for clitoris] cut off if they can’t control their passions,» was his message to liberated female compatriots.One lone voice was Asif, a 26-year-old Somali mechanic who came to London at 15 – though his reasoning was hardly reassuring.»We call these girls ‘table-tops’ because they are like wood,» he told us. Rapping his fist on the table, he added: «Who wants to make love to this? I would never allow this to happen to my daughters.»
As Detective Inspector Hamilton has discovered, however, he is very much in the minority. «I met one group of Somalis and got the message that cutting was even stronger here than in Somalia,» she says. «Here, it seems, they feel the need to keep their traditions going.»But detection is very difficult. If somebody rings and tells us a girl has been subjected to it, how do you check that? Especially when the family seem quite reasonable and say they don’t believe in it, but refuse permission for the children to be medically examined.»
Daily Mail sine journalisters erfaringer etter å ha gjort undersøkelser i felten, harmonerer langt på vei med HRS sine erfaringer. Vi har i flere år nå anslått at opp mot halvparten av jenter i Norge som kommer fra høyrisikoland (80 prosent lemlesting eller mer), blir lemlestet. Men fremdeles vet ikke regjeringen hva som skal gjøres… Og flere politikere har uttalt stor skeptisk til hvorvidt lemlesting overhodet foregår… Det finnes ikke et mer skammelig politisk svik i vår tid. Situasjonen i Europa som sådan, er at tusentalls jenter lemlestes årlig. At EU tier, er rett og slett ikke til å tro, ei heller finnes det tilgivelse for denne multikulturelle feigheten. For at handlingsvegringen er et resultat av forskjellsbehandling av barn på bakgrunn av hvem deres foreldre tilfeldigvis er, kan vel ingen være i tvil om. Det er nesten så man skulle ønske at noen hvite europeere fant ut at lemlesting var en ”kjekk” praksis, for da hadde det blitt vei i vellinga…
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