June 10, 2013
Egyptian girl dies while being circumcised
A 13-year-old Egyptian girl has died while being circumcised at a private village in the Daqahliya governorate north east of Cairo, Egyptian media reported on Sunday.
“We left our daughter with the doctor and the nurse. 15 minutes later, the nurse took my daughter out of the operation room to a nearby room, along with three other girls whom the doctor was circumcising,” Mohammed Ibrahim, a farmer, told al-Masry al-Youm.
“I waited half an hour, hoping that my daughter would wake up, but, unfortunately, unlike the rest of the girls, she did not,” he said.
The doctor who circumcised Suhair al-Bata’a had previously circumcised the victim’s elder sister two years ago.
“I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter,” the victim’s mother, Hasanat Naeem Fawzy, told the newspaper.
The police summoned the doctor and ordered an autopsy to find out the cause of the young girl’s death.
A health inspector report explained the cause of the death was due to “a sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma,” the family’s lawyer, Abdel Salam, told al-Masry al-Youm.
Egypt's National Council for Women condemned the deadly incident of female circumcision as a criminal act that reflects "extreme savagery," calling on the government to investigate the issue and punish the culprits.
UNICEF Egypt has also condemned the incident, saying female circumcision has no justification, medical or religious.
Abdel Wahab Suleiman, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Daqahliya, who said that the Health Directorate had not yet been notified of the incident, described Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as against the law.
In 1996, Egypt criminalized FGM; however, many families still bring their daughters to be illegally circumcised. In 2009, Egyptian authorities arrested a man for the first time since FGM’s ban was introduced. The man was arrested for his illegal circumcision of an eleven-year-old girl in the governorate of Minya, 600 kilometers south of Cairo.