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13-year-old dies during FGM surgery

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NCW condemns operation; calls for immediate investigation into incident

A thirteen-year-old girl died on Thursday while undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM).

According to Tamer Ghanem, Al-Dostour Party office head in Aga, asurgeon, Raslan Fadl, conducted the surgery on Soheir Al-Batae in his private clinic in Daqahleya.

“Fadl drugged the girl himself; he did not have with him an anesthesiologist,” Ghanem said. “It was the cause of Al-Batae’s death.”

Ghanem said Fadl rushed the girl to Aga Hospital but she dead before they arrived. Ghanem added that the girl’s family is now accusing Fadl of killing their daughter.

In a statement, the National Council for Women (NCW) condemned the “criminal act” of FGM, which led to the 13-year-old’s death.

The NCW stated that FGM is an “extremely brutal” act which violates human rights, reported state-owned news agency MENA. The council added that the act breaches national as well as international laws.

The council demanded an immediate and inclusive investigation into the “tragic” incident. They urged the health minister to issue a swift inspection of all private clinics and close those which conduct FGM. Practitioners should be prosecuted the NCW said.

Despite the Supreme Constitutional Court rejecting a lawsuit calling for nullifying Law 242 which criminalises FGM, calls for legalising female circumcision continue.

The NCW said they had earlier put an end to free FGM surgeries offered by a “certain political party which abused the proliferating ignorance and the poor living conditions… to promote FGM” in Minya.

In April 2012, residents of a village in Minya reported seeing a medical convoy organised by the ruling Freedom and Justice party (FJP) to conduct FGM on female residents in the area.

The FJP denied the accusation and said there was no evidence of such a convoy, but according to a brochure published by state-run Al-Ahram, the convoy did promote FGM surgery. Additionally, a former Salafi MP submitted a draft law to the 2012 parliament before its dissolution to legalise the practice.


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