Egypt launches first prosecution for female genital mutilation after girl dies (Guardian)

3/14/2014 -- The Guardian -- "Egypt launches first prosecution for female genital mutilation after girl dies" On the case of 13-year-old Sohair Al-Batea who died after Dr. Raslan Fadl allegedly performed female genital mutilation (FGM) on her at her father’s request in a clinic north-east of Cairo.

Why Aren’t More People Talking About Female Genital Mutilation in the U.S.? (Cosmopolitan)

3/4/2014 -- Cosmopolitan -- "Why Aren’t More People Talking About Female Genital Mutilation in the U.S.?"

Up to 228,000 girls in the United States have been affected or are at risk, and the United Nations estimates that if current trends continue, 86 million more young girls worldwide are likely to experience some form of the practice by 2030.

VIDEO: Equality Now's Faiza Jama Mohamed speaks about our anti-FGM work (Voice of America)

Embedded Video: 

2/11/2014 -- Voice of America -- Equality Now's Faiza Jama Mohamed speaks about our anti-FGM work: "FGM is a human rights violation... Governments must take a leadership role to protect girls from this harmful practice."

FGM inquiry launched to uncover reasons for lack of prosecution in UK (Guardian)

12/18/2013 -- The Guardian -- "FGM inquiry launched to uncover reasons for lack of prosecution in UK" Efua Dorkenoo, head of Equality Now's FGM programme and a long-time campaigner, hailed the news as a significant breakthrough:

Egypt: Enforce the conviction against doctor in FGM-related death of Soheir al-Batea

Not an update
2013 Dec 10

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

1 MARCH 2016 UPDATE: Dr. Fadl is no longer licensed to practice medicine! On 25 February, reports indicate that the Disciplinary Court in Mansoura, Egypt ruled to revoke the doctor’s medical license for causing 13-year-old Soheir al-Batea’s death. This followed a major NPR investigation organized by Equality Now last December to support the November 2015 complaint filed by our partners CEWLA and ECCR. The Court also expelled the Dr. Fadl from his job as a surgeon in a state-run hospital in the province and penalized two other doctors for medical negligence.

We continue to push the police to immediately arrest the doctor.

26 FEBRUARY 2016 UPDATE: Some promising news! We've been in touch with lawyers in Al Mansoura who have confirmed that the Administrative Court released a verdict on 25 February which potentially follows through on our call to have Dr. Fadl's medical license officially revoked. We're following up with our partners and will keep you updated. We are still working to ensure that authorities carry out his conviction and arrest him immediately.

1 FEBRUARY 2016 UPDATE: While we continue to explore ways to enforce the arrest of Dr. Fadl and to get his medical license revoked, we have been in touch with Egypt's National Population Council on another FGM case. 14-year-old “Mouna” was forced to undergo FGM by her father and her aunt. Mouna’s mother, who is divorced from her father, found out and filed a complaint with the police. The Attorney General referred the case to court and after three sessions the verdict was released – a fine of 1000 Egyptian pounds for her father and aunt – the absolute minimum penalty. Small fines and the reluctance to make arrests clearly shows that Egypt, which has the second highest number of affected girls and women in the world, is not serious about ending FGM. Equality Now and our partners will continue to call for the Egyptian law to be strengthened and enforced on behalf of Soheir, Mouna and all the girls and women affected by this human rights violation.

3 DECEMBER 2015 UPDATE: Despite last month’s assurance by the Chief of Police, Egyptian authorities have still not arrested Dr. Fadl, who was convicted in January for his role in 13-year-old Soheir’s death. The Egyptian Medical Syndicate in Cairo has also not taken any concrete steps to revoke Dr. Fadl’s medical license or to shut down his clinic following the complaint filed by our partners CEWLA and ECCR on 16 November 2015.

Renewed call to Action!  87% of girls and women have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) in Egypt, and medicalization is on the rise. Governments and medical professionals must be held accountable for protecting girls and women from this human rights abuse. Please join Equality Now, CEWLA and ECCR in calling for:

  • The Egyptian police to immediately arrest Dr. Fadl and close down his clinic permanently.
  • The Medical Syndicate to revoke Dr. Fadl’s medical license
  • The government to enforce the anti-FGM law and to support and strengthen community education to change the cultural perceptions and beliefs that promote FGM
  • Comprehensive education and training for health care personnel on the health and human rights implications of FGM as well as their legal obligations to stop all forms of the practice.

Thank you for your support!

16 NOVEMBER 2015 UPDATE: Following our hard fought success to obtain justice for Soheir, we have recently found out that 10 months after his conviction, the police have still not taken the Dr. Fadl into custody. He has not served a single day of his prison sentence and his clinic remains open. Therefore, on 12 November, we traveled to Mansoura, Egypt with our partners the Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA) and Egyptian Coalition on Children's Rights (ECCR) to call for his arrest. Though the Chief of Police  promised to do within 48 hours, Dr. Fadl still remains free. We are now working to ensure his immediate arrest and CEWLA and ECCR have also filed a request with the Egyptian Medical Syndicate to revoke his medical license. We will continue to keep you updated as this progresses.

26 JANUARY 2015 UPDATE: Success at last! Doctor and father convicted in the death of 13-year-old Soheir! This morning, the appeals court in Mansoura overturned the lower court's 2014 decision and sentenced Dr. Fadl to two years in jail for manslaughter and three months for performing FGM. Soheir's father received a three month suspended sentence under the anti-FGM law. The doctor's clinic, where the FGM was performed, was also closed for one year.

This first ever FGM trial in Egypt is hugely important in a country which has the highest number of affected women and girls in the world. In a country where medicalization of FGM is very high (more than 75% of cases performed by medical practitioners), it is also extremely significant that a medical professional was sentenced. Egypt is sending a strong message that FGM will not be tolerated, particularly in the lead up to the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. We are hopeful that this will be an important stepping stone towards ending this extreme human rights violation once and for all. On behalf of Equality Now and our partners, thank you to everyone who supported this campaign!

Read more in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, New York Times and BuzzFeedNews.

22 DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE: 2nd chance at justice -- The appeal court session took place today with the Prosecutor presenting a very strong case for the appeal court to overturn the lower court's decision not to convict Soheir's father and Dr. Fadl. Lawyers from CEWLA, National Population Council and the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood were in attendance. The decision was postponed until January 26 where the final verdict is likely to be rendered. Please check back then for updates.

17 DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE: The appeal court session previously scheduled for 15 December was moved to 22 December.

5 DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE: The fight to get justice for 13-year-old Soheir continues! The General Prosecutor’s request for appeal was granted, with the first session scheduled for 15 December. Both the prosecutor and the doctor’s lawyers will give their statements again. If successful, the appeal court could reverse the decision and sentence the doctor and Soheir’s father. If the appeal court upholds the decision, however, then appealing to the Supreme Court is a possibility. According to the Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistances’ lawyer, the acceptance of the appeal is a very important step in the process to potentially convict Soheir’s abusers. We will continue to update as information is received.

20 NOVEMBER 2014: Unfortunately a verdict was reached today, which acquitted both the doctor and father despite overwhelming evidence that FGM had occurred. The General Prosecutor submitted a request to appeal the court's verdict. If successful, three judges will revisit the verdict. Our partners in the Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance are hopeful that information on when the session might take place will be available soon. Please stay tuned for a renewed call to action from Equality Now and our partners.

17 NOVEMBER 2014 UPDATE: The verdict in the case is expected 20 November. Please check back for updates.

29 SEPTEMBER 2014 UPDATE: Due to last minute delay tactics by the defense, a verdict wasn't rendered in the trial on the 25th. Instead a decision on how the case will proceed will be made on 23 October. Please check back then for updates.

11 SEPTEMBER 2014 UPDATE: The trial to obtain justice for Soheir resumed today with only one of the three witnesses called to provide evidence—the Inspector from the Ministry of Health—in attendance. He gave a strong account and confirmed that Soheir had been subjected to FGM. Since the other witnesses, Soheir's uncle and the medical examiner, did not appear as requested, the judge dismissed their testimonies. The verdict is extremely likely to be rendered on 25 September.

30 JULY 2014 UPDATE: Lawyers from CEWLA and the National Population Council, and Equality Now’s Suad Abu-Dayyeh attended the 10 July session, during which the judge requested further testimony from the medical examiner, the Inspector of the Ministry of Health and Soheir’s uncle. The trial will resume on 11 September.

20 JUNE 2014 UPDATE: During the 19 June court session, the Attorney General presented a strong statement upholding that Soheir's father and Dr. Fadl had illegally subjected Soheir to FGM. The trial has been adjourned until 10 July when a decision is expected to be rendered. Please check back in July for updates.

22 May 2014 Update: The trial to obtain justice for Soheir has begun! Today marked the first day of court proceedings and, as expected, the judge adjourned the case until 19 June. Equality Now’s Middle East/North Africa consultant, Suad Abu-Dayyeh, and representatives from our partner, the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA), attended the session and press conference that preceded it. We are closely following the court proceedings, and will continue to update you as it progresses.

13 MARCH 2014 Update: Justice—Soheir’s abusers will stand trial!

Following the investigation by the Attorney General, Dr. Fadl and Soheir’s father will face criminal charges for subjecting her to FGM and her subsequent death. This is the first prosecution for FGM in Egypt since it was banned in 2008, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your help! The Attorney General has stated that it was due to the concern and attention of both governmental and international organizations that his office decided to refer the case to the criminal court. Equality Now and our partners in Egypt welcome this positive step and will continue to monitor the court proceedings to make sure that those responsible for Soheir’s mutilation and death are held accountable.

Thank you for your supporting our efforts to end FGM!

5 FEBRUARY 2014 UPDATE: Great News! Our combined efforts to obtain justice for 13-year-old Soheir, who died in 2013 after being subjected to FGM, are working. On 5 February 2014, Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population informed Equality Now that its committee reviewed Soheir’s death and decided that Dr. Fadl’s clinic will be closed pending further investigation by the Attorney General. The Egyptian Medical Syndicate will also conduct a professional ethics investigation into Dr. Fadl’s actions.

Equality Now will continue to work with our local Egyptian partners to monitor these investigations to ensure that they are properly conducted and that those responsible for Soheir's mutilation and death are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As medicalization of FGM is on the rise in Egypt, please continue to keep up the pressure on officials to effectively enforce Egypt’s anti-FGM law and fully prosecute all violations.

Thank you for your support and continued advocacy. We will continue to update you as Soheir’s case develops.


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Equality Now’s Suad Abu-Dayyeh at the home of Soheir al-Batea

What You Can Do: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

Please join Equality Now and our Egyptian partners, the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) and the Egyptian Coalition for Children’s Rights (ECCR) in calling on the government of Egypt to live up to its domestic and international obligations by:

  • Effectively enforcing its FGM law by properly investigating and fully prosecuting violations and in particular ensuring that Soheir’s death is properly investigated including by arranging for medical experts to review the forensic report
  • Ensuring that Dr. Fadl is thoroughly investigated and held accountable for all crimes he is found to have committed
  • Supporting and enhancing community education to change cultural perception and beliefs on FGM and acknowledging FGM as a human rights violation with harmful consequences
  • Ensuring that health care providers are given comprehensive education and training on the health and human rights implications of FGM and refrain from performing any form of the practice

Letters should go to:

Minister of Interior, Police General, Magdy Abdel-Ghafar
Ministry of Interior
Sheikh Rihan Street Downtown Cairo, Egypt
Tel: +20 27953981- +20 27955005
Fax: +20 27960682

Minister of Health & Population Ahmad Emad El Deen Rady
3 Magless El Shaàb Street, Al Kasr El Einy, Cairo, EGYPT
Tel.: +202 2795 1821
Fax: + 202 2795 3966
Email: webmaster@mohp.gov.eg

Attorney General Mr. Nabeel Sadeq
Attorney General's Office
High Court, 26th of July Street Ambulance Square, Cairo, EGYPT
Tel.: +202 2574 3751-2576 0468
Fax: +202 2577 4716

Pro. Dr. Hussein Khairy
Chief of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate
Fax 0020 27962751
Fax: +20 27962751

Copy to:

Dr. Ahmad Hani, Director at the National Population Council, Fax: +20 25240409, Email: npc.npic@gmail.com, npic@npc.gov.eg


Dear Minister/Attorney General/ Chief of the Medical Syndicate,

I am deeply concerned that Dr. Raslan Fadl still has not been arrested though he was convicted in early 2015 in the case of 13-year-old Soheir al-Batea, who died in June 2013 after he subjected her to female genital mutilation.  I am also concerned about reports that Dr. Fadl appears to still be practicing medicine and that his clinic remains open despite the ruling that it was to be closed.
FGM has been a criminal offense under the Egyptian penal code since 2008. Despite this ban, UNICEF reports that medicalization is on the rise in Egypt with an estimated 72% of procedures being performed by doctors in private clinics which risks FGM becoming even more deeply entrenched in Egypt. Without strong messages from the government, such as proper implementation of the law and swift punishment for the perpetrators, girls will continue to face abuse and possible death, with women’s rights increasingly taking a back seat at all levels.

The steps you have taken in this case are therefore critical, and I urge you to ensure that Egypt lives up to its domestic and international obligations on women’s and girls’ human rights. Please ensure that Dr. Fadl is arrested as a matter of urgency and that his medical license is revoked.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Efua Dorkenoo nominated for Woman of the Year for anti-FGM work (Get West London)

11/12/2013 -- Get West London -- "Genital mutilation campaigner nominated for Woman of the Year" Advocacy Director, FGM Program Efua Dorkenoo has been nominated for a Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year Award in recognition for her 30 years of hard work and dedication.

UK hospitals must treat FGM as child abuse (Thomson Reuters)

11/4/2013 -- Thomson Reuters -- "UK hospitals must treat FGM as child abuse - report" Advocacy Director, FGM Program Efua Dorkenoo discusses new report released by the Intercollegiate Group (Equality Now, Royal Colleges of Midwives, Nursing and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and UNITE) and its partners on tackling FGM in the UK.

Health professionals in the UK must screen for FGM (BBC)

11/3/2013 -- BBC -- "Health professionals must screen for genital mutilation" Advocacy Director, FGM Program Efua Dorkenoo discusses new report released by the Intercollegiate Group (Equality Now, Royal Colleges of Midwives, Nursing and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and UNITE) and its partners on tackling FGM in the UK.

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