|Suhair was a gifted 13-year-old when she died after |
allegedly undergoing female genital mutilation
Doctor Raslan Fadl was cleared of all charges alongside the father of Suhair al Bataa, a lawyer in the case said.
Suhair died in June 2013. Her doctor denied carrying out FGM on her, and blamed her death on an allergy.
The practice of FGM was banned in Egypt in 2008 but is still widespread.
Over 90% of Egyptian women under 50 have experienced it, according to government statistics.
This was the first time a prosecution relating to FGM had been brought to trial.
Women's rights activists, who saw the trial as a significant step forward, have expressed dismay at the verdict.
"It is awful that after what seemed to be strong moves towards a positive outcome, Suhair has not been given justice," said Suad Abu-Dayyeh, a representative for the NGO Equality Now, which pressed for the trial to be brought.
"We can only hope that the strong commitment by the Egyptian government to finally take FGM seriously will result in further moves in the right direction and we will now discuss next steps with the local lawyers."
Suhair al Bataa, who lived in small farming community on the outskirts of the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, died after allegedly being forced to undergo FGM by her father.
Her doctor said the cause of death was an allergy to penicillin. Wasn't there an autopsy done on this girl? Wouldn't it be obvious?
The judge in the Nile Delta town of Aga acquitted both men without giving his reasons.
Correspondents say that while some Egyptians are fighting for the practice to be eradicated, others justify it in the name of religion. Egypt is 90% Muslim, so, the 'name of the religion' is Islam.
Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, her relatives defended the practice of FGM, and insisted no-one was to blame for her death.
What are the odds of ending this brutal, barbaric, misogynistic, evil practice? Almost zero! Islam is furiously resistant to change and if change is forced upon them they will revolt and a more extreme version of Islam will replace it.
I hope and pray that they will appeal this verdict to a higher court and succeed in the prosecution, but I seriously doubt that will happen and fear the outcome if it does.
FGM is still a big problem in Kenya where it was outlawed 13 years ago. It's still a problem in the UK where it was outlawed 30 years ago, although no-one was ever prosecuted under the law until this year.
UNICEF reported last year that 140 million women and girls have suffered female genital mutilation. Most of the procedures being carried out in less than hygienic conditions on girls under the age of 15. Please pray for an end to this insane practice.
Mansoura is an 800 year old city of half a million people. Its name means "the Victorious" since it was the scene of the Egyptian defeat of the Crusaders in the Sixth Crusade.
|University of Mansoura, Egypt|