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Egypt doctor accused of female genital mutilation death is released

13-year-old girl died during the operation last week

Soher MohammadAl Batea
Gulf News

Cairo: Aslan Fadl, a doctor accused of causing death of a 13-year-old girl during female genital mutilation operation has been released by prosecutors pending further investigations.

General Prosecution in Daqahliya, a Nile Delta governorate, on Tuesday released the doctor accused of causing the death of a Soher Mohammad Al Batea on Thursday evening after undergoing the operation, illegal since 2008, performed by Fadl.

He had turned himself in to prosecutors, claiming the operation was at the request of the girl’s family and denying accusations of negligence leading to her death.

“The operation was successful and the girl did not suffer any bleeding,” he said. The girl’s mother, Hasanat Fawzy, said her daughter told the doctor she had a cold and asked if this would affect the operation in any way.

“He said it would not and told her to come the next day fasting,” Hasanat said.

Daqahliya Governor Salah Al Meadawy has also ordered the closure of the medical facility that carried out the girl’s procedure. Soher was rushed from the private clinic to hospital — where she died — immediately after the operation. Her death was reportedly caused by a severe drop in blood pressure. Doctors and nurses in Egypt have been banned from performing procedures involving female genital mutilation (FGM) since 2007 following the death of two young girls after being subjected to such surgeries at public hospitals. The procedure was subsequently declared illegal in 2008.

Penalties for engaging in the practice are between three months and two years in prison and fines. In February 2013, Egypt’s High Constitutional Court rejected a lawsuit submitted by Islamist lawyers challenging the FGM ban.