Supreme Constitutional Court upholds criminalization of FGM

The Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday rejected a lawsuit filed by Hamed Seddiq and Sheikh Youssef al-Badry challenging the constitutionality of Article 242 (bis) of the Penal Code, which criminalizes female genital mutilation.

The court’s commissioners supported the criminalization of FGM as per the Penal Code and health minister decision No. 271 of 2007.

Article 242 (bis) stipulates punishment by imprisonment for a term not less than three months and not exceeding two years, or a fine of no less than LE5,000 for those who perform FGM.

The health minister’s decision prohibits doctors and nurses from performing FGM in public or private hospitals, and anywhere else.

The plaintiffs had claimed that criminalizing FGM violates Article 2 of the 1971 Constitution, and is inconsistent with the principles of Sharia.

In 2008, an court had ruled that criminalization of FGM violates the provisions of the Constitution and restricts personal freedom.

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