After killing a girl in a female genital mutilation operation, an Egyptian doctor served just three months in jail

Published August 5th, 2016 - 02:42 GMT
Women protesting in Cairo (AFP / File)
Women protesting in Cairo (AFP / File)

In a landmark verdict last year, Doctor Raslan Fadl was judged responsible for the death of a 13-year-old girl – killed during an illegal female circumcision he performed.

But today he’s walking free, after serving just three months of a two year sentence.

Sohair al-Bata’a died in 2013 while undergoing the banned procedure of female circumcision – an operation which involves removing parts of the genitals and sometimes the whole clitoris of young women and girls. Fadl was found guilty of performing the deadly operation and was sentenced to two years and three months in jail last January.

Even then he failed to serve any of his sentence. It was December when journalist Leila Fadel tracked him down, free and still practising medicine.

Following the investigation and subsequent outcry, Dr. Fadl was imprisoned by the state in April this year – but by July he was free again. In an interview with Associated Press he said his sentence had been suspended after he “reconciled” with the girl’s father.

The case has caused outcry in Egypt, where it’s relatively common for women to undergo female genital mutilation, often against their will but forced by their families. In May, another girl, Mayer Mohamed, died from shock after undergoing FGM.

The agonising procedure, which seeks to control female sexuality and can cause long-term pain, sexual problems and issues during childbirth, is illegal in Egypt but it’s still widely practiced. Data published by UNICEF suggests that 74% of Egyptian girls aged 15-17 have undergone the procedure – and that it’s supported by more than half of the male and female population.

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