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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Egypt convicts doctor, father in first ever FGM trial

An organisation which has long campaigned against FGM dubbed the verdict "historic."

Ahram Online , Monday 26 Jan 2015
FGM
File Photo: A counselor holds up cards used to educate women about female genital mutilation (FGM) in Upper Egypt- Minya (Photo: Reuters)
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A father and a doctor have been convicted for the death of a 13-year-old girl who died after being subjected to female genital mutilation, a verdict that those leading the battle against the practice have described as a significant milestone.

Soheir El-Bataa, from the Nile Delta's Daqahliya governorate, died after a doctor performed the FGM on her in June 2013. An appeal court on Monday sentenced the doctor involved to two years in prison with hard labour on charges of involuntary manslaughter. He was also fined LE500 (around $68).

The doctor also received a three-month prison sentence on charges of carrying out FGM. The girl's father's received a suspended sentence of three years for the same charge. The doctor's clinic where the FGM was performed will be closed for one year by court order.

Vivian Fouad of the National Population Council, an organisation which has long campaigned against the traditional practice, dubbed the verdict "historic."

"This is a strong message to anyone who violates the law, and violates the bodies of girls by performing this illegal practice," she told Ahram Online. This is the first FGM trial since a law banned the practice in 2008.

She added that the verdict proves that the judiciary is "capable of protecting the rights of girls from one of the most violent practices against women in our society."

The doctor will face punishment from the Doctors Syndicate because of the verdict, jeopardising his career and sending a strong message to doctors who violate the ethics of their profession, she said.

In November, a misdemeanour court acquitted both the father and doctor and said the criminal case had "expired" after "reconciliation," and ruled that the doctor must pay LE5,000 as compensation to the mother, who is the plaintiff.

Although illegal, female genital mutilation is still widely prevalent in Egypt, with 91 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 subjected to the practice according to a 2008 study by the Egyptian Demographic Health Survey (EDHS), under the supervision of the health ministry.

The study showed that FGM was more prevalent in rural communities than in cities – 96 percent of girls in the countryside had undergone FGM, as opposed to 85 percent in urban environments.

The numbers from 2008 are down by 15 percent among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 as compared to the same EDHS study from 2005, a sign of progress.

Fouad said that while anti-FGM laws are important, awareness of the cause and dangers of this practice are also vital.

"The National Population Council is currently putting adverts on television to generate more awareness of the dangers of this practice," she added.

Both the Coptic Orthodox Church and Al-Azhar, Egypt's highest Sunni authority, have forbidden the practice, which involves the removal of the clitoris and is often conducted in unsanitary conditions.
              

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Egyptian-Canadian
27-01-2015 10:51pm
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female genital mutilation
This is practiced among less educated citizens. The father instead of educating his daughters on how to protect themselves, they mutilate them so - as they say - "Do not feel the sexual urge"..This horrific issue must be addressed on a daily basis through both television and radio on all channels...THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENT - this is injustice to a human being. Both Islamic and Christian Egyptian Clerics MUST again and again point this out on a daily basis throughout the MEDIA.. Ignorance is a curse as is lack of education, so at the very least "talk" DAILY about this issue and the PUNISHMENT that would be issued on the so called doctors and on the father or parent of the child.- talk on the Radio and television about this dangerous and inhuman act. The FIRST to point it out and talk against it and showing the brutality of this act was Amr Adeeb and Rania Badawi on ElQahera Elyoum
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J.M.Jordan
27-01-2015 01:05pm
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Just for Al-Ahram
I had no idea Egypt treats girls like this. Of black African countries yes, I knew, but Egypt, so smart people in all other ways! It's really a thing nobody should do to girls, it's pain for life at other occasions, it's against nature, it's humiliating. As if girls and women couldn't on their own stand the ground Sad, very sad. I hope this will never be practiced again very very soon. As I hope families will be wise enough to lovingly think of the future before creating bigger families than is reasonable if all their children are to have a chance in life. Here, I do know families who have learned discipline though late, maybe for the children born too late.
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m omsri
27-01-2015 10:16am
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A barometer of our social ills
Considering 91% of women in Egypt have had FGM ( Wikipedia) this means that doctor was very unlucky. Sadly, this reflects the misogyny and sexism pervading our rather backward patriarchal society. To drag Egypt into the 21st century would require revolutionary change the likes of which have not been seen since that of Communist China and Russia .
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Amina Niazi
27-01-2015 01:17am
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Re FGM
Female genital mutilation involves the removal of all, or part of the labia, part or all or none of the clitoris. In Sudan and Ethiopia often the complete removal of both, after which the remaining skin is stretched and sewn shut, causing enormous physical pain in many ways...and the stiches are removed for birth then sewn up again. The purpose of the labia, as God created it, is to cover and protect the sensitive clitoris. All humans are created with the same bodies. If it's male, the ovaries drop into the skinfold to become testicles, and the clitoris develops into a penis; if it's a female, the ovaries stay inside. I hope that people will understand that this is an African pagan rite which has nothing to do with religions at all. Children must learn in school why this is unacceptable. It's not 'like male circumcision at all, it's like cutting off the tip of the penis and the glans. My respect to the women of Egypt, my respect to the presiding judges. God bless you.
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Egyptian-Canadian
27-01-2015 10:53pm
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FGM
Your (Amina Niazi) Comment is the best I have read so far. Clear adn very well explained.
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Dr.Feelgood
26-01-2015 07:45pm
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Hopefully..
not the last good news from Egypt!
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Aly Sadek - Toronto-Canada
26-01-2015 04:13pm
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Egypt...
.. TO BE CIVILIZED.. OR NOT TO BE...THAT IS THE QUESTION . EGYPT HAS A VERY..VERY LONG WAY TO GO
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