Egyptian cabinet approves bill harshening penalty for female genital mutilation

The Egyptian cabinet approved, during its meeting on Wednesday, a draft law that will harshen the penalty for female genital mutilation.

The amendments were introduced to Articles (242 bis) and (242 bis A) of the Penal Code issued by Law No. 58 of 1937 to establish a deterrent punishment for crimes of female circumcision.

The amendment stipulates that “Whoever performs female circumcision by removing part of her genitals or modifying, deforming, or inflicting injuries to those organs shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of no less than five years.”

Permanent disability resulting from the act is punished by hard labor for no less than seven years. If the act leads to death, the punishment is hard labor for a period of not less than ten years.

The amendment also stipulates that the punishment shall be hard labor as well if the person who performed the circumcision is a doctor or nurse. If their crime resulted in a permanent disability, the penalty shall be hard labor for a period of not less than ten years, but if the act resulted in death, the punishment shall be hard labor for a period no less than 15 years and not exceeding 20 years.

According to the amendment, the court shall rule, in addition to the aforementioned penalties, to suspend the perpetrator from their job for a period not exceeding five years if the crime was committed because of or in connection with performing their job.

Any private facility where a circumcision is performed shall be closed for a period not exceeding five years.

The facility closure decision shall be published in two widely circulated daily newspapers and on websites determined by the court at the expense of the convicted person.

The amendments in Article (242 bis A) also stipulate that “Whoever requests female circumcision, leading to her being circumcised at their request, shall be punished with imprisonment, as stipulated in Article 242 bis, and whoever promotes, encourages, or advocates for one of the methods described in Article (171) for committing the crime of female circumcision, even if it does not have an effect, shall be imprisoned.”

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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