January 28, 2014
Baby girl circumcised in Indonesiaby
An Australian father charged with organising to have his baby daughter circumcised allegedly travelled to Indonesia for the procedure.
The NSW man, who cannot be named, took his then nine-month-old girl overseas, where she was circumcised sometime between February and March of 2012, police allege.
But it wasn't until the girl's mother took her to a doctor six months later that authorities were alerted to what had allegedly happened.
Following an investigation, the father was arrested on December 31 last year by officers attached to the Sex Crimes Squad.
He was later charged with aiding, abetting or procuring female genital mutilation.
Police have previously said that it was unclear in what country the alleged procedure took place.
But papers tendered during the father's brief appearance at Manly Local Court on Tuesday state it took place in Jakarta.
The girl had her clitoral tissue removed and underwent a labial fusion, the documents state.
The man said nothing during the appearance in which his lawyer applied for a national suppression order on his identity and that of his wife and daughter.
The court heard the father recently moved to Victoria where he remains on bail.
The father is believed to be the first person to have been charged in NSW with procuring a genital procedure abroad.
However, it is the second prosecution in the state of the practice.
In 2012, eight members of a small religious order in Sydney - including a sheikh, a retired nurse and two parents - were charged over the female genital mutilation of two sisters, aged six and seven.
Their case remains before the courts.
Community Services Minister Pru Goward said earlier this month that anecdotal evidence showed the practice was 'more common than the reports would suggest'.
She said the crime often only came to light when the child suffered a complication from the procedure or there was a marital breakdown.
The father is due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court in March.