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Assessing Impact of 3-Month Jail Term for Egypt Female Genital Mutilation Surgery Doctor

Human rights activists are assessing the degree to which a three-month sentence for female genital mutilation served by an Egyptian doctor is precedent setting or a victory at all. The case revolves around a physician whose 14-year old patient died while undergoing a female circumcision, made illegal only as recently as 2008. Originally given a 2-year sentence in 2015 for involuntary manslaughter, the doctor remained free until three months ago. But the incarceration lasted a short time because the defendant and victim’s family reportedly “reconciled.” Some 97 percent of married women in Egypt have undergone the procedure, a figure activists hoped would be reduced with the example of a doctor arrested and jailed for genital mutilation. But rights experts now question the strength of the example when the defendant in the rare case is able to easily “reconcile” with the victim’s family.