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Middle East Egyptian father ‘used coronavirus lie’ to trick daughters into FGM

A man has been accused of tricking his daughters into undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) after telling them the doctor was visiting for coronavirus vaccinations.

Authorities in Egypt have said they will prosecute the father of the three girls – all minors – who have claimed they were misled into having the procedure.

The children were expecting to be vaccinated against Covid-19, but were instead injected with a drug that knocked them out and then operated on, the public prosecutor’s office said.

The mother – who is divorced from their father – notified authorities after the girls told her what had happened.

Egypt criminalised FGM in 2016, after the practice was banned eight years before.

The public prosecutor’s office said it has “ordered the referral” of the doctor – charged with performing the procedure – and father – charged with assisting him in the alleged crime – “to an urgent criminal trial”.

Doctors who carry out FGM can now be jailed for up to seven years in Egypt. Anyone who asked for it to be performed could face up to three years in prison.

However, no one has been successfully prosecuted under the 2016 law and women’s rights groups in Egypt have said the ban has not been well enforced.

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