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Egypt acquits doctor in female genital mutilation

The court in Dakahliya ruled Thursday that the doctor, Raslan Fadl, and the father of Soheir el-Batea were not guilty

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A lawyer says an Egyptian court has acquitted a doctor charged with committing female genital mutilation that led to a 13-year-old girl’s death.

Lawyer Atef Aboul Einein says the court in Dakahliya ruled Thursday that the doctor, Raslan Fadl, and the father of Soheir el-Batea were not guilty.

Aboul Einein, who has followed the case and obtained a copy of the ruling, says it was a "surprise" and warned it could open doors for "any doctor" to perform the banned procedure.

More than 90 percent of Egyptian women are estimated to have undergone the procedure, which involves the cutting off of all or part of the clitoris and the labia. In a conservative society, it is believed to control a young woman’s sexual appetite.

Egypt criminalized the practice in 2008.