Target: Mahfouz Saber, Egypt’s Minister of Justice
Goal: Praise conviction of a doctor whose patient died after a female genital mutilation operation.
A doctor who performed a female genital mutilation procedure on a 13-year old girl which resulted in her death was recently convicted for his role in this tragedy. He is the first person in Egypt to be convicted for a crime related to FGM, which an estimated 90% of Egyptian women undergo. A previous ForceChange petition demanded that the doctor be brought to justice. This could set a precedent in Egypt deterring doctors from performing the procedure and families from demanding it from young women. Please join us in praising the conviction, which brings this tragedy to a slightly more positive end.
FGM procedures range from cutting or removing some to all of the external female genitalia, and sometimes even closing the vulva. Infections, bleeding, chronic pain, and death are some of the potential health effects. Sohair al-Bataa was the 13-year old girl who died in 2013 after the Doctor Raslan Fadl performed the procedure on her. Fadl was acquitted at first, but after an appeal he was sentenced to two years in prison for manslaughter and an additional three months for performing FGM. Bataa’s father was also convicted for his role in her death. FGM was criminalized in Egypt in 2008, but this case is the first time someone was actually indicted under this law.
Reda al-Danbouki, the lawyer who initiated the case seeking justice for al-Bataa, told the Guardian “Now Sohair al-Bataa can lie peacefully in her grave in the knowledge that she has won her rights, and the rights of every girl who has been circumcised.” This is clearly not a happy story, but we can hope that al-Bataa’s death was not in vain and will lead to a positive change and protect other girls from harm. Please express your approval of the decision to convict this doctor and urge Egypt’s Minister of Justice to pursue more cases against FGM until it is no longer an issue in Egypt.
Dear Minister Saber,
A young girl died last year in Egypt after a female genital mutilation operation. The doctor who performed the operation, Raslan Fadl, recently became the first person in the county to be convicted of a crime related to FGM, although an estimated 90% of women in Egypt undergo the procedure. I want to applaud the decision to convict Fadl, and also to urge you to take more action against FGM to protect Egyptian girls from health complications, pain, and even death.
Soahir al-Bataa, the 13-year old girl in this case, lost her life forever, but her story can leave a positive legacy that will help make progress towards the elimination of FGM. Pursuing justice against people performing FGMs will make doctors much more hesitant to perform them, and could eventually make FGM history, as it should be. Please continue working on this positive path and seek justice for FGM victims.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Flags of the World via Wikimedia Commons