Egyptian doctor convicted for killing girl in circumcision procedure remains free

In January, Dr. Raslan Fadl was convicted of manslaughter when a 13-year-old girl died during a female genital mutilation procedure. Ten months on from his conviction, he has yet to serve a day in prison. Officially, he’s a fugitive — on the run. Unofficially, he’s continuing to work as always in a government hospital and at his private clinic. The local police chief refuses to arrest Fadl, despite entreaties from activists, and Egypt’s medical syndicate refuses to revoke his license.

The country’s health ministry estimates 87 percent of all Egyptian women between the ages of 15 and 49 have been circumcised, a practice locals refer to as “cleansing.” Equality Now, who spearheaded the campaign against Fadl put the figure at 91 percent, quoting a 2013 report by UNICEF. Many Egyptians believe circumcision quells women’s sexual desires, making them more pure and attractive for marriage. Female genital mutilation was declared illegal in Egypt in 2008, but Fadl is the first doctor to be convicted for performing the practice. He was ordered to serve 2 years in prison, the minimum possible, but the conviction was hailed by activists as a landmark event. For now though, public officials are ensuring Egypt’s ban on female genital mutilation remains in name only.

Read the full story at NPR.

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