Third Statement by The Anti-FGM Task Force
7th August, 2020
A statement was issued by the Anti-FGM Task Force on August 7, 2020, supporting the referral of a doctor to the administrative trial for the circumcision of a girl, and demands to stop the usage of mitigating sanctions and a stay of execution against doctors practicing FGM.
The Anti-FGM Task Force supports the Administrative Prosecution’s decision to refer the health inspector who is accused of female circumcision and causing permanent disability in Sohag to the Administrative Trial, out of our belief in the importance of the institutional and structural role that health care institutions are supposed to play in addressing violations against girls and women, and in recognition To the ethical and professional responsibility of public institutions and health care providers as health sector workers.
Today, August 6, 2020, the Administrative Prosecution referred a health inspector doctor to the administrative trial after an extensive investigation that it opened after receiving a notification from the Health Directorate and the Security Directorate in Sohag Governorate in May 2018, and after completing the investigations of the Public Prosecution, in the circumcision case that the offender doctor conducted in the victim’s home.
The facts go back to 2018 when a doctor at the Ministry of Health who works as a health inspector and director of a health unit in the village of Kom al-Sa’ida in the Gerga district of Sohag governorate performed a circumcision on a girl whose father worked as a worker in the same health unit. The circumcision resulted in severe bleeding that lasted for days and caused the girl a permanent disability that forced her to stay in Sohag University Hospital for more than a year and a half. After the Gerga District Court released the offender’s health inspector and the father of the victim on bail of 5,000 pounds each, the South Sohag Criminal Court ruled in Case No. 5331 of 2018, Gerga Felonies, restricted to No. 1504 of 2018, Kali Sohag, in a session of January 20, 2020, to punish the health inspector. In the presence or absence of the girl’s father, she will be imprisoned for one year, with a stay of execution for a period of three years. The victim’s stay in Sohag University Hospital extended more than that of the offender’s doctor spent in detention pending investigations, and the suspension of execution enabled him to move forward with his life.
While The Anti-FGM Task Force supports the referral of an offender physician to discipline, it also expresses concern about the overuse of Article 17 of the Penal Code and the use of clemency in favor of a physician accused of the offense of FGM.
Finally, in order to achieve justice for girls and women for the harm that occurred to their bodies as a result of years of FGM being passed down through generations, the Anti-FGM Action Force emphasizes the need for healthcare providers who commit this crime to be held administratively and criminally accountable for girls.
The Anti-FGM Task Force demands the following:
- Failure to use Article 17 of the Penal Code, which states: “It is permissible in criminal articles if the conditions of the crime for which the public lawsuit is filed require the judges’ clemency to reduce the penalty,” in cases filed against doctors for performing the circumcision of girls and women, just as it is not used in drug cases.
- The Medical Syndicate must take disciplinary measures against its members who facilitate and practice FGM, with the announcement of those measures and their results.
- The Ministry of Health and Population should tighten control over health inspectors and train them to address the practice of female genital mutilation inside and outside health facilities.
- Immediate activation of policies related to training and qualifying physicians by integrating educational materials into the curricula of medical colleges that identify FGM crimes, its harms, and its legal consequences.