Two Detroit-area doctors and a third person were indicted by a grand jury today.
Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar are being charged with aiding and abetting in Doctor Jumana Nagarwala’s alleged female genital cutting on two seven-year-old girls from Minnesota.
Female genital mutilation – or FGM – on minors is illegal in the U.S. unless there is a medical need for the procedure.
Mary Chartier, Doctor Attar’s attorney, says her client maintains that he’s innocent.
“Doctor Attar is not aware of any FGM that occurred at his clinic and does plan to vigorously defend these charges,” Chartier said.
Chartier believes her client and the other two defendants are being targeted for their faith.
“I believe they are being persecuted because of their religious beliefs and I do not make that allegation lightly,” she said.
The three defendants are all Muslims, but it is not clear whether they are all of the Dawoodi Bohra sect, that Doctor Nagarwala’s attorney claimed her client is a member of in a detention hearing last week.
The indictments were issued shortly before Dr. Attar and his wife were due in court for a detention hearing, so the hearing has been adjourned until next Wednesday.