MIDDLE EAST

Egyptian girl dies undergoing circumcision

Suhair al-Bata’a, 13, died while she was being circumcised in a village northeast of Cairo. (Photo courtesy of Egypt Independent)

Suhair al-Bata’a, a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, has died undergoing circumcision at a village in the Daqahliya governorate northeast 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 Egyptian daily 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 had previously circumcised her elder sister two years ago.

“I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter,” Suhair’s mother, Hasanat Naeem Fawzy, told the newspaper.

The police ordered an autopsy and summoned the doctor to find the cause of the young girl’s death.

A health inspector report said 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 neither medical nor religious justification.

Abdel Wahab Suleiman, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Daqahliya said that the Health Directorate had not yet been notified of the incident and described female genital mutilation as being against the law.

In 1996, Egypt criminalized female genital mutilation; however, many families still illegally circumcise their daughters. In 2009, Egyptian authorities arrested a man for illegally circumcising an eleven-year-old girl, the first time since the ban was introduced.

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Last Update: Monday, 10 June 2013 KSA 15:17 - GMT 12:17
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