Protect Jasmine from FGM and allow her to stay in the UK

To: The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, The Secretary of State for the Home Department

We, the undersigned, write as concerned citizens in support of Jasmine (real name changed) and her family being granted refugee status to stay in the UK. Jasmine is age 11 and is at high risk of female genital mutilation (“FGM”) if she is returned to Bahrain or Sudan. Her story was featured in the Guardian on 3 July 2020 and it has roused significant public support.

Jasmine and her family are of Sudanese origin and hold only Bahraini citizenship. They have lived in the UK for almost 8 years. Jasmine’s mother applied for asylum in 2012 due to concerns that Jasmine would be cut if she was returned to Sudan or Bahrain. Her asylum claim was refused. The Immigration Courts are often unfriendly environments for vulnerable mothers and especially children who do not have the benefit of independent representation, for example, through a children’s guardian.

Jasmine is commended for her bravery in telling her teacher that she was worried about being removed from the UK. Jasmine’s school contacted Suffolk County Council who then applied for an FGM Protection Order in the Family Courts to protect Jasmine from FGM abroad. Suffolk County Council should be commended for their preventative actions in taking the case to Court.

After a court case that spanned over 12 months, Mr Justice Newton assessed the risk of FGM to Jasmine and found that “It is difficult to think of a clearer or more serious case where the risk to A [Jasmine] of FGM is so high. I find without hesitation overwhelmingly that there is a high risk of FGM to A [Jasmine]” (§52). The experts in the case gave their consistent opinion that Jasmine would suffer gravely if she was removed from the UK. Those experts included: a psychiatrist, a Professor in anthropology, the child’s social worker, an independent social worker and the children’s guardian who represented the child.

There is overwhelming evidence to support Jasmine being granted refugee status. In the case of Fornah in 2006, it was established that risk of FGM is a sufficient ground to grant refugee status. If this at-risk child is not granted refugee status, then what child would meet such a high test?

FGM can have serious physical and mental health consequences which can be life changing. Long term risks include infections, paralysis of the bladder and infertility. This form of abuse also carries a risk of severe bleeding and even death. The family have first-hand experience of this after two of the mother’s sisters died as a result of being cut in Sudan. Jasmine’s three cousins were also cut. Jasmine’s mother was subject to Type III FGM, which is considered the most serious and physically invasive form of FGM. The mother does not support FGM but as a single mother she would not be able to protect Jasmine from FGM if they were removed from the UK. The mother would be financially reliant on her family members who want Jasmine to be cut. The mother is highly vulnerable; she has a “diagnosis of recurrent depression, anxiety and PTSD” and she suffered “adverse physical consequences of FGM”.

Jasmine’s case has been going on since August 2012. In the Family Court there have been around seven Court hearings. We would respectfully suggest that the public money spent on those seven hearings would be better spent on granting Jasmine and her family refugee status in the UK.

There is no need to use further public resources on this case. We call on you to grant Jasmine and her family refugee status without asking them to make another asylum claim. Jasmine’s mother has PTSD and has been in and out of courts for 8 years, she should not be put through the gruelling process of making a further application for asylum on behalf of her daughter. And Jasmine, at the age of 11, should not be compelled to make her own asylum claim, a daunting prospect for any child.

We call upon you, as Home Secretary, to show compassion and grant Jasmine and her family refugee status so that Jasmine can live safely in the UK without the risk of FGM.


To date, the open letter has been signed by over 300 MPs, Peers, campaigners, and lawyers. The list of signatories includes:

  1. Hoda Ali, Community Outreach Project Manager for Safeguarding
  2. Amanda Keane MP
  3. Andrew Gywnne MP
  4. Chris Stephens MP
  5. Clive Lewis MP
  6. Daisy Cooper MP
  7. Debbie Abrahams MP
  8. Stella Creasy MP
  9. Ian Mearns MP
  10. Jeremy Corbyn MP
  11. Joanna Cherry QC, MP
  12. Julie Elliott MP
  13. Karl Turner MP
  14. Layla Moran MP
  15. Liz Saville Roberts MP
  16. Marion Fellows MP
  17. Neil Gray MP
  18. Owen Thompson MP
  19. Paula Barker MP
  20. Dr Philippa Whitford MP
  21. Richard Thomson MP
  22. Rosie Duffield MP
  23. Rushanara Ali MP
  24. Sarah Champion MP
  25. Siobhain Mcdonagh MP
  26. Stephen Timms MP
  27. Stuart Mcdonald MP
  28. Wera Hobhouse MP
  29. Ed Davey, Acting leader of the Liberal Democrat Party
  30. Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson
  31. Munira Wilson, Lib Dem MP for Twickenham
  32. Sarah Olney, Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park
  33. Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon
  34. Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE
  35. Baroness Cox
  36. Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
  37. Baroness Jan Royall
  38. Professor Dr Tobe Levin Freifrau (Baroness) Von Gleichen
  39. Alaine Holland, Director, Creating Equalz Annie Gibbs, Founder Amour Destinè CIC
  40. Amaal Ali, Project Manager, Integrate UK
  41. Anna Fisher, Chair, Nordic Model Now
  42. Aneeta Prem Founder Freedom Charity, Author Human Rights Ambassador
  43. Dr Annemarie Middelburg, Founder & Director Middelburg Human Rights Law Consultancy
  44. Dr Annette Lawson OBE, Chair Of The Trust, Judith Trust
  45. Angelina Kohli-Mckenzie, Project Worker, Integrate UK
  46. Caroline Hattersley, Director, [email protected]
  47. Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation
  48. Diana Nammi, Executive Director, IKWRO – Women’s Rights Organisation
  49. Dot Pritchard, Senior Project Coordinator, Oxford Against Cutting
  50. Farah Ahmed, Chair, Waltham Forest Women’s Network
  51. Flavia Mwangovya, Equality Now
  52. Grethe Petersen, CEO, Orchid Project
  53. Dr Hannana Siddiqui, Project Advisor, Southall Black Sisters
  54. Hibo Wardere, Activist and Survivor
  55. Ipswich And Suffolk Council for Racial Equality
  56. Janet Chapman, Trustee, Tanzania Development Trust
  57. Dr Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, Founder of Karma Nirvana
  58. The Judith Trust
  59. Julie Bindel, Journalist and Co-Founder of Justice for Women
  60. Karen Wint, Chief Executive, Women’s Health and Family Services
  61. Legal Feminist Collective
  62. Lisa Zimmermann, Director of The Youth Led Charity Integrate UK
  63. Sister Lynda Dearlove MBE, CEO, [email protected]
  64. Maherush Khan, Integrate UK
  65. Mary Mcguckian, Faobo Ifrah Foundation Board Members
  66. Meena Kumari, H.O.P.E Training & Consultancy
  67. Naana Otoo- Oyortey, Executive Director, FORWARD
  68. Nasra Ayub, Lead Outreach Worker and Trustee, Integrate UK
  69. Natasha Rattu, Director of Karma Nirvana
  70. Neelam Sarkaria, Gender-Based Violence and Rule of Law Expert
  71. Nicki Norman, Acting Chief Executive, Women’s Aid Federation of England
  72. Pat Black, Chair of The National Alliance of Women’s Organisations
  73. Payzee Malika, IKWRO Ambassador and Campaigner
  74. Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters
  75. Polly Harrar, Founder, The Sharan Project
  76. Rachel Williams, Founder of Stand Up to Domestic Abuse
  77. Richard Garside, Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (Personal Capacity)
  78. Dr Roxanne Khan, Director At HARM, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology
  79. Dr Sasha Rakoff, CEO, Notbuyingit, You My Sister
  80. Suffolk Law Centre
  81. Susannah Oldham, Nordic Model Now
  82. Tamar Nwafor, Advocate for Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Survivors
  83. Toks Okeniyi, Head of UK Programmes & Operations at FORWARD UK
  84. Tom Farr, Human Rights Law Researcher, CEASE UK (Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation)
  85. Vanessa Morse, CEO, CEASE UK (Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation)
  86. Vivienne Hayes MBE, CEO, Women’s Resource Centre
  87. Amy Wareham, Co-Chair of Trustees Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid
  88. Dr Ann Olivarius, Senior Partner, Mcallister Olivarius
  89. Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE QC (Hon)
  90. Anya Palmer, Barrister
  91. Audrey Ludwig, Solicitor
  92. Bronwen Jones, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  93. Carol Ward, Solicitor
  94. Cris Mccurley, Solicitor
  95. Deeba Syed
  96. Daniel Foster, Barrister, Bank House Chambers
  97. Eva Magerdichian, Solicitor
  98. Professor Felicity Gerry QC Carmelite Chambers, London, Crockett Chambers Melbourne And Deakin University.
  99. Georgina Calvert-Lee, Senior Counsel, Mcallister Olivarius
  100. Gul Nawaz Hussain QC
  101. Harriet Wistrich, Director and Solicitor, Centre for Women’s Justice
  102. Jane Heybroek, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers Jenny Beck, Solicitor
  103. Jolyon Maugham QC, Barrister and Founder and Director of The Good Law Project
  104. Ksenia Angelova, Senior Legal Analyst, Mcallister Olivarius
  105. Kim Harrison, Solicitor
  106. Lynne Townley, Chair of The Association of Women Barristers
  107. Maureen O’Hara, Solicitor and Senior Lecturer in Law, Coventry University
  108. Michael Sternberg QC
  109. Mitchell Woolf, Solicitor, Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd
  110. Naima Sakande, Women’s Justice Advocate At APPEAL
  111. Richard Hinton, Solicitor
  112. Richard Scorer, Solicitor
  113. Sarah Vine , Doughty Street Chambers
  114. Saskia Lux, Lawyer
  115. Shannon Moore, Trainee Solicitor, Mcallister Olivarius
  116. Abdul-Bari Awad, British Professional Boxer
  117. Dr Anwar Khan, GP
  118. Andrea Levy, Registered Midwife, Head Midwife at North York General Hospital, Toronto
  119. Ashiedu Joel, Ashioma Consultancy
  120. Billy Joe Saunders, British Professional Boxer
  121. Brittany Francine Ashworth, Actor
  122. Claire Waxman, London Victims’ Commissioner
  123. Debbie Ariyo OBE, CEO AFRUCA – Safeguarding Children
  124. Deeqo Shire, Freelance Singer/Songwriter
  125. Elizabeth Carola
  126. Elizabeth Gray, Legal Analyst, Mcallister Olivarius
  127. Emilia Gaca, Legal Assistant To The Senior Partner, Mcallister Olivarius
  128. Dr Emily Simon GP
  129. Gerry Campbell MBE, Consultant & HTP SME (Former Deputy NPCC Lead For HBA, FM & FGM)
  130. Grace Nartey, Named Midwife for Safeguarding & FGM Trust Lead
  131. Graeme Ludwig
  132. Professor Hilary Burrage FRSA
  133. Dr Joseph Home, Junior Doctor
  134. Kell Brook, British Professional Boxer
  135. Professor Kathleen Stock
  136. Jackie Mcloughlin MBE, Member Social Responsibility Committee, National Board of Catholic Women
  137. Dr Jacqueline Marshall
  138. Jessica Van Meir, Senior Legal Analyst, Mcallister Olivarius
  139. Julie Baker (LLB, LLM)
  140. Juliet Albert RM, IBCLC, Msc, Specialist FGM Midwife
  141. Joanne Roche, Finance Administrator, Mcallister Olivarius
  142. Jonathan Bartley, Co-Leader, Green Party of England And Wales
  143. Kimberley Walton Staff Nurse
  144. Leethen Bartholomew, Social Worker
  145. Dr Leyla Hussein OBE
  146. Loleitha Evelyn
  147. Martha Halford-Fumagalli, PR Consultant
  148. Mary Rouncefield M.A. M.Sc., Artist
  149. Maureen Meatcher, Chair of Trustees, Crossroads Care Wokingham
  150. Muna Hassan, Co-Founder of Integrate UK And A Specialist Community Public Health Nurse
  151. Nazir Afzal OBE, Former Chief Prosecutor & Chief Executive of The Country’s Police & Crime Commissioners
  152. Nicole Ackie, Specialist FGM Midwife
  153. Olivia Walton, Senior Legal Analyst, Mcallister Olivarius
  154. Penelope Watson, Public Health Professional
  155. Philip Davis, Chief of Staff, Mcallister Olivarius
  156. Sam Darr, DTM in Barnet
  157. Sarah Wigley, Domestic Abuse Training and Consultancy
  158. Siobhan Jess
  159. Dr Soo Kim Wong, GP
  160. Dr Tamsin Robinson, GP
  161. Umme Imam DCL (Hon) Exec Director of The Angelou Centre
  162. Dr Victoria Bowler, Bristol Community Rose Clinic
  163. Deborah Russell, Commissioner, Children and Young People, Waltham Forest CCG
  164. Laura Boyd, Deputy director uclpartners
  165. Professor Maggie Rae President Faculty of Public Health
  166. Anna Pickford, Principal Intelligence Lead
  167. Dr Tripurdaman Singh, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London
  168. Kezia Tobin, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  169. Marcia Persaud, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  170. Amanda Walker, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  171. Pierre Georget, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  172. Sarah Lubrano Stein, Doctoral Researcher, Somerville College, Oxford
  173. Matthew Davies, Activist
  174. Imaan Nazir, law graduate
  175. Camilla Penney, Junior Research Fellow, Queens’ College, Cambridge
  176. Kirsty Brimelow QC Head of International Human Rights Doughty Street Chambers
  177. Siddick Gokhool, Solicitor Advocate, SG Law
  178. Reeba Oliver consultant, Urogynaecologist
  179. Vania Collins, Senior Resp/Sleep Physiologist, Isle of Wight NHS Trust.
  180. Dr Naveed Mustfa. Consultant Respiratory Physician, Stoke-on-Trent
  181. Dr Dina Kaufman, GP
  182. Dr Choulamite Soudry, GP Registrar
  183. Dr Nicola Renton, GP
  184. Jane Briers , Clinical Development Coordinator British Heart Foundation
  185. Professor Ahmet Fuat Darlington, GP/Professor of Primary Care Cardiology
  186. Morven Dunn, clinical development coordinator, British Heart Foundation
  187. Dr Karen Marshall, Nurse Consultant
  188. Dominic Morgan, Director of Operations, Inspiral Health
  189. Dr Melissa Holz, GP
  190. Dr Saima Chaudary, medical practitioner
  191. Dr Mashhood Syed MBChB MRCGP DRCOG
  192. Dr Musa Sami, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham
  193. Christos Orfanidis, law student
  194. Oscar Minto, law student
  195. Olivia Thirkettle, law student
  196. Mr Shahnawaz Rasheed, Consultant Surgeon
  197. Dr Christine Nallet, GP
  198. Mr Mark Robinson, solicitor
  199. Dr Shafia Hakeem, GP trainee
  200. Dr Noor Mohubally, Director, Scientist
  201. Feizal Mohubally, Director
  202. Marilia Tsarkou, law student
  203. Professor Liz Lightstone
  204. Catherine McArthur, Founder & CEO, ThirdShift
  205. Dr Hayder Majeed, GP
  206. Safia Pheerunggee, pharmacist
  207. Dr B . Agrawal, GP PARTNER
  208. Abi Barinski, Open Labour National Committee Member
  209. Dr Fiona Sim, Public Health Consultant
  210. Lucy Burke, Open Labour Disability Officer
  211. Safiya Mohamud, Midwife
  212. Dr Fiona Sim, Public Health Consultant
  213. Anisha Faruk, Open Labour National Committee Member
  214. Tess Milligan, Open Labour National Committee Member
  215. Anya Metzer, NGO worker
  216. Professor Amanda Millmore, Associate Law Professor at Reading University & Barrister
  217. Dr Steve Doyle, GP, Rochdale
  218. Deborah Russell, Commissioner, Children and Young People, Waltham Forest CCG
  219. Laura Boyd, Deputy director uclpartners
  220. Professor Maggie Rae President Faculty of Public Health
  221. Anna Pickford, Principal Intelligence Lead
  222. Dr Tripurdaman Singh, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London
  223. Kezia Tobin, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  224. Marcia Persaud, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  225. Amanda Walker, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  226. Pierre Georget, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  227. Sarah Lubrano Stein, Doctoral Researcher, Somerville College, Oxford
  228. Matthew Davies, Activist
  229. Imaan Nazir, law graduate
  230. Camilla Penney, Junior Research Fellow, Queens’ College, Cambridge
  231. Kirsty Brimelow QC Head of International Human Rights Doughty Street Chambers
  232. Siddick Gokhool, Solicitor Advocate, SG Law
  233. Reeba Oliver consultant, Urogynaecologist
  234. Vania Collins, Senior Resp/Sleep Physiologist, Isle of Wight NHS Trust.
  235. Dr Naveed Mustfa. Consultant Respiratory Physician, Stoke-on-Trent
  236. Dr Dina Kaufman, GP
  237. Dr Choulamite Soudry, GP Registrar
  238. Dr Nicola Renton, GP
  239. Jane Briers , Clinical Development Coordinator British Heart Foundation
  240. Professor Ahmet Fuat Darlington, GP/Professor of Primary Care Cardiology
  241. Morven Dunn, clinical development coordinator, British Heart Foundation
  242. Dr Karen Marshall, Nurse Consultant
  243. Dominic Morgan, Director of Operations, Inspiral Health
  244. Dr Melissa Holz, GP
  245. Dr Saima Chaudary, medical practitioner
  246. Dr Mashhood Syed MBChB MRCGP DRCOG
  247. Dr Musa Sami, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham
  248. Christos Orfanidis, law student
  249. Oscar Minto, law student
  250. Olivia Thirkettle, law student
  251. Mr Shahnawaz Rasheed, Consultant Surgeon
  252. Dr Christine Nallet, GP
  253. Mr Mark Robinson, solicitor
  254. Dr Shafia Hakeem, GP trainee
  255. Dr Noor Mohubally, Director, Scientist
  256. Feizal Mohubally, Director
  257. Marilia Tsarkou, law student
  258. Professor Liz Lightstone
  259. Catherine McArthur, Founder & CEO, ThirdShift’
  260. Dr Hayder Majeed, GP
  261. Safia pheerunggee, pharmacist
  262. Dr B . Agrawal, GP PARTNER
  263. Abi Barinski, Open Labour National Committee Member
  264. Dr Fiona Sim, Public Health Consultant
  265. Lucy Burke, Open Labour Disability Officer
  266. Safiya Mohamud, Midwife
  267. Dr Fiona Sim, Public Health Consultant
  268. Anisha Faruk, Open Labour National Committee Member
  269. Tess Milligan, Open Labour National Committee Member
  270. Anya Metzer, NGO worker
  271. Professor Amanda Millmore, Associate Law Professor at Reading University & Barrister
  272. Dr Steve Doyle, GP, Rochdale
  273. Dr Freya Jephcott, Junior Research Fellow, Cambridge
  274. Imogen Mellor, Barrister at law
  275. Jocelyn Clarke, FGM specialist midwife
  276. Alex Adams, Action:FGM chairperson
  277. Dr Maarten Steenhagen, academic
  278. Gunn Benjaminsen, Humanitarian Expert
  279. Dr Olivia Jana Sigurdson Macleod, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge
  280. Dr Sharon Raymond, GP
  281. Adam Barnett, JournalistDr. Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Lecturer of Political Sociology, Fellow of Darwin College, The University of Cambridge
  282. Rebecca Glover, research fellow, London school of hygiene and tropical medicine.
  283. Dr Cecile Wabnitz, GP
  284. Dr Ashwin Balabhadra, GP
  285. Dr Halliki Voolma, gender-based violence expert
  286. Charlotte Bayati, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  287. Charles Brooks, legal researcher
  288. Dr Noor Ahmed, GP
  289. Dr Samira Nikpour Valiseh, GP
  290. Omar Salem, lawyer
  291. Dr Jane Hoddes, Consultant Paediatrician
  292. Dr Sabeena Pheerunggee, GP
  293. Dr Kay Lawson, Consultant Histopathologist
  294. Dr Charlotte Pratt Consultant Physician
  295. Dr Manali Desai, Lecturer, University of Cambridge
  296. Dr Debbie Dresler, Gp
  297. Dr Saumya Jha, GPDr Sharon Taylor consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist
  298. Dr Judith Tobin Macmillan GP (rtd)
  299. Dr Esther Sabel, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
  300. Dr Vanessa Eisman, Gp
  301. Action: FGM, Network of Professionals committed to Ending FGM
  302. Munachiso Oriaku, law student
  303. Ioan Lewis, concerned, law student
  304. Ion Klitorakis, law student
  305. Malika Saidova, law student
  306. Konstantina Nouka, law student
  307. Dr Samah Boulis GP
  308. Dr Emma Shaw, GP
  309. Jo Shaw, Barrister
  310. Reuben Soloman, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers
  311. Sania Khan, leader in responsible business
  312. Asher Desner, writerRebecca Metzer, activist
  313. Maram Mohammed Shehab, law student
  314. Dr Harish Mistry GP Harrow GP & appraiser
  315. Dr Tamar Nisner GP
  316. Dr Mathew Fay, GP Principal The Willows Medical Practice, Clinical Chair Affinity Care PCN
  317. Dylan Levy, law student
  318. Rachel Ward, law student