The Saudi health authority in the city of Medina on Monday sentenced an Egyptian doctor accused of performing male circumcisions without a license to six months in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of 100,000 Saudi riyals.
The doctor's medical license was revoked and he is banned from practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. The medical institution he works for has been shut down for the next 60 days and made to pay an additional fine of 100,000 Saudi riyals.
The Egyptian doctor, Abdallah Hamza Hussein, protested the verdict, saying that because his ID card had been withheld from him, he had not been granted a lawyer.
Ahmed Zaki, an official at the Egyptian Consulate in Medina, attended the defendant's trial and said he had requested that the Legitimate Health Authority, the body overseeing the case, hand over the doctor’s ID card. His request was denied.
According to the presiding judge, this case concerned violations of public, or state, rights, and that a case regarding the private rights of individual babies would be arranged once the court receives the necessary medical reports.
The doctor’s secretary, a Saudi citizen whom the defendant had requested as a witness, was not allowed to testify.
Doctor Hussein, an Otolaryngologist, was facing charges of conducting circumcisions on newborn babies. As this practice is not within his specialized domain, the infants suffered serious injuries.
Edited translation from MENA