Egypt doctor serves three months for fatal female circumcision

Egypt doctor serves three months for fatal female circumcision
2 min read
31 July, 2016
An Egyptian doctor who performed a deadly female circumcision "operation" on a 14-year-old had his two-year sentence suspended after "reconciliation" with the deceased girl's family.
Victims of the procedure are left to cope with a range of consequences [AFP]
An Egyptian doctor who performed a deadly female circumcision "operation" on a girl has served a three-month sentence, he and a lawyer said Saturday, in a first since a 2008 ban.

Raslan Fadel had been sentenced in January 2015 to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and an additional three months for practising female genital mutilation [FGM].

But Fadel remained free until his arrest last April, according to lawyer Reda el-Danbouki, who had pursued the case against the doctor.

"He began the sentence on April 2 and was released on July 2," said Danbouki, the executive director for the Women's Centre for Guidance and Legal Awareness in Egypt.

Fadel, who denies that he performed the operation, told AFP that he had served a three-month sentence.

He said the two-year sentence by a court in the Nile Delta province of Mansoura had been suspended after he "reconciled" with the family of the 14-year-old girl who died during the operation.

"Go to the court and you'll find the sentence has been suspended," he said in a phone interview.

"There was a reconciliation with the girl's father and there is no problem now," he said, adding that the sentence was under appeal.

"There was no clitorectomy. Some lawyer said something and the media made it a big deal," he added.

The unprecedented verdict marked a new victory for international and local human rights organisations in their fight against the practice.

FGM involves the removal of the clitoris, and sometimes even more extreme mutilation, in a bid to control women's sexuality.

A 2000 survey found that 97 percent of married women in Egypt had undergone the procedure.

Activists say the campaign to end the practice suffered a setback with the 2011 overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak, whose regime had imposed the ban.

In 2007, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa issued a fatwa condemning FGM, while the Azhar Supreme Council for Islamic Research explained in a statement that the practice had no basis in the core Islamic Sharia or any of its partial provisions.

In September 2012, the Egyptian gynecologists and obstetricians union declared that FGM was not a medical procedure, and that it was not included in any medical curriculum.

FGM is also practised in a number of other African countries as well as parts of the Middle East, and is usually carried out by women.

Victims of the procedure are left to cope with a range of consequences from bleeding and pain while urinating, extreme discomfort during sexual activity, fatal complications in childbirth and deep psychological trauma.

Agencies contributed to this report.