Appeal filed against father and Dr acquitted in FGM death of 13-year old
Anti-FGM campaign material from the United Nations Development Program, courtesy of UNDP website

CAIRO: The Mansoura Misdemeanor Court accepted an appeal against the acquittal of a doctor and the father of 13-year-old girl who died after a female genital mutilation procedure,  Aswat Masryia reported Friday.

The court determined Dec. 15 for the hearing session after the appeal was accepted.

On Nov. 20, Dr. Raslan Fadl and the father of Soheir al-Batea, were acquitted on charges of performing an illegal operation, opening an unlicensed clinic and manslaughter. Fadl is the first doctor to be accused of FGM in Egypt since the procedure was criminalized.

The father was accused of participating in killing his daughter in June 2013 for forcing her to undergo the mutilation, which usually includes the removal of a girl’s clitoris, and possibly other external genital tissues. The procedure, in addition to its intended effect of removing the capacity of a woman to sense sexual pleasure, can result in heavy bleeding, as well as severe complications when a woman gives birth.

“Egyptian authorities need to take clear action to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) following the country’s first trial on the crime ending in acquittals,” the Human Rights Watch said in a press statement following the acquittal Nov. 27. FGM was criminalized in Egypt in 2008; however, the law is not applied in many parties and governorates nationwide.

In a 2013 report, UNICEF revealed that 27.2 million women have undergone some form of FGM in Egypt, making it the country with the biggest number of FGM cases. In another report, the U.N. agency stated that 91 percent of married Egyptian women between the ages of 15-49 have undergone the procedure.

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