Thursday, June 23, 2016

COPENHAGEN: Government claims it is a human right to cut (male) babies' genitals

Business Insider
June 16, 2016

Denmark defends circumcision as a human right - even though 75% are against it

by Vilhelm Carlström
Even though a large majority of Danes are against the circumcision of boys, and even though the circumcision of girls is strictly prohibited in Denmark, the government has now officially accepted that it's a human right for parents to circumcise their sons.

The Local reports that a YouGov survey from 2014 showed that 74% of Danes were against the circumcision of boys, while only 10% supported the practise. Despite that, about 1000-2000 boys ar circumcised each year in Denmark, according to the CPH Post.

Since 2014, the matter has been reviewed but without much to show for it.

In 2015, Denmark decided to delete its registry of circumcised individuals, reports the Local. Now, in a report to the United Nations the Danish government officially accepts an Egyptian convention which recognizes circumcision as a human right, writes CPH Post.

The basis is that circumcision of boys is rarely associated with medical complications, when performed under medical supervision [this is equally true of the "circumcision" of girls in Indonesia and Malaysia], and that it's viewed as a religious expression and therefore falls under the freedom of religion right.

Circumcision of boys will therefore remain legal as it complies with Danish law and is carried out by a doctor.

Male circumcision can lead to a more problematic sex life. 
Contrary to claims that circumcision in males is unproblematic, however, a Danish study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 2011 finds that circumcision leads to frequent orgasm difficulties in Danish men. The study also finds that women who are the sexual partners of circumcised men also have significantly higher orgasm difficulties, more problems with painful intrcourse (dyspareunia), and more often feel a sense a incomplete fulfillment of sexual needs.

JERUSALEM: Metzitzah: Two boys contract herpes

The Jerusalem Post
June 3, 2016

Two recent cases [of] herpes in babies following Brit Milah

by Jeremy Sharon
The Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva has reported two recent cases in which baby boys have been infected with the herpes virus following their brit mila.

The infections are believed to be the result of ritual circumcisions in which the metzitza ba’peh procedure was used, whereby the mohel, or person performing the circumcision, uses his mouth to suction blood off the penis after the foreskin has been cut off.

This practice is mentioned in the Talmud and codifications of Jewish law, but is now uncommon outside of the haredi community because of the risk of infection, and suction is achieved instead by means of a sterile plastic tube.

According to Schneider, one baby was released last week after having been infected with herpes, while another baby was admitted to the hospital two months ago with the same disease.

“Both children were quickly examined, treated appropriately and released in excellent condition. Both of them will continue to receive oral treatment until the age of six months,” Schneider said.
The hospital reiterated its backing of suction via a tube instead of by mouth “to avoid this difficult infection.”

According to Rabbi Moshe Marciano, director of the circumcision division of the Chief Rabbinate, the infected babies did not have the same mohel.

In one case, the mohel was the father of the infected baby, and is not an authorized mohel, while the second family refused to give the details of the mohel who performed the circumcision.

The Health Ministry confirmed that only one mohel had been identified, but did not indicate that is was the father of the baby.

Marciano said metzitza ba’peh is an approved practice for mohels authorized by the Chief Rabbinate, but added that parents can request that it not be used and the mohel is obliged to conform.

He also said that rabbinate guidelines state if the mohel has any wound or infection in his mouth he must not do metzitza ba’peh.

Metziza ba’peh has caused controversy in recent years, most notably in New York where at least 17 cases of herpes have been reported since 2000, resulting in two deaths.

Earlier story

CAIRO: Girl dies after genital cutting

The Inquistr
June 2, 2016

Female Genital Mutilation Results In Death Of 17-Year-Old Egyptian Girl Maya Mohamed Mousa

by Lindsay McCane
Maya Mohamed Mousa, a 17-year-old Egyptian girl, has died after undergoing an illegal procedure known as female genital mutilation, or female circumcision.

According to Reuters, Mousa and her twin sister arrived at the private El Canal Hospital in Suez to undergo female circumcision on Sunday. Although the procedure was performed under anesthesia, Mousa died after experiencing heavy bleeding. Thankfully, Maya’s sister survived.

Sedkhi Sidhom, an official from Egypt’s health ministry, said the hospital has since been shut down, and Egyptian prosecutors are investigating Mousa’s death.

“Not all cases of female circumcision are reported across Egypt. There are cases of circumcision where the women die and are then buried without a word being mentioned,” Sidhom said.

While there are thousands of deaths due to FGM each year, many go without being acknowledged. However, there are some that make headlines like Mousa’s. Last year, Raslan Fadl, a medical doctor, was convicted of manslaughter in Egypt’s first female genital mutilation trial after a 13-year-old girl died during a botched procedure. Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East and North Africa consultant at rights group Equality Now, said Fadl was sentenced to more than two years in prison, but has yet to serve time behind bars.

“It is incredible that the Egyptian police are not taking a tough line on ending FGM in a country where over 27 million have been affected,” Abu-Dayyeh said in a statement. “The death of the 17-year-old should be yet another shocking wake up call for Egypt.”

WASHINGTON, DC: Bill protects boy-baby-genital-cutting, ritual slaughter as "religious freedom"

Freedom to cut babies, but not from being cut

The Jerusalem Post
May 19, 2016

House passes bill protecting circumcision, ritual slaughter as religious freedoms

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bill unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives would extend religious protections to advocates of circumcision and ritual slaughter as well as atheists, addressing what its sponsors describe as an increase in religious persecution in recent years.

The bill, passed Monday, would broaden the definition of “violations of religious freedom” in the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to include the persecution of advocates of male circumcision or ritual animal slaughter. [Does that include any opposition to male genital cutting or ritual slaughter?] Atheists would become a new protected class. 

The measure, which moves to the Senate for consideration, was named for retired Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., a longtime champion of human rights who authored the 1998 law.

2D Session

May 17, 2016
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

To amend the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to improve the ability of the United States to advance religious freedom globally through enhanced diplomacy, training, counterterrorism, and foreign assistance efforts, and through stronger and more flexible political responses to religious freedom violations and violent extremism worldwide, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SEC. 102. Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.
(a) In general.—Section 102(b)(1) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6412(b)(1))
["Each Annual Report {of the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom} shall contain the following:"]
is amended—
(3) in subparagraph (B) ["Violations of Religious Freedom"], in the matter preceding clause (i) ["An asseessment and description of the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom in each foreign country, including persecution of one religious group by another religious group, religious persecution by governmental and non-governmental entitites, persecution targeted at individuals or particular denominations or entire religions..."—

(A) by inserting “persecution of lawyers, politicians, or other human rights advocates seeking to defend the rights of members of religious groups or highlight religious freedom violations, prohibitions on ritual
animal slaughter or male infant circumcision,” after “entire religions,”...

“The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of international religious freedom, a crisis that continues to create millions of victims; a crisis that undermines liberty, prosperity and peace; a crisis that poses a direct challenge to the U.S. interests in the Middle East, Russia, China and sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who authored the bill, said in a statement.

There have been increasing calls in recent years in northern European countries for an end to circumcision and ritual slaughter, spurred in part by anti-Muslim hostility [but mainly by a well-founded concern for human rights], U.S. government and European Jewish officials have said. [And that constitutes "persecution of advocates" how?]
The bill’s tier system for how well or poorly countries protect religious freedom would be similar to the one used in the annual State Department report on human trafficking. That report is influential, and countries seeking the good graces of the United States strive to improve their ranking by cracking down on the practice.

Smith is the chairman of the House subcommittee on human rights, and as a co-chairman of the Helsinki Committee, the congressional panel that monitors human rights overseas, has made the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe a focus.

Smith’s office, announcing the passage of the bill, headlined the statement “Combating Persecution of Christians and Anti-Semitism,” although many of its protections would extend in the current climate to moderate Sunni Muslims and non-Sunni Muslim sects in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar.

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., the bill’s lead Democratic sponsor, said in the same statement that the bill would “better address the religious freedom and violent extremism problems being experienced in the 21st century.”

The bill integrates the 1998 law’s protections into U.S. national security priorities, mandating that the ambassador at large for religious freedom – currently Rabbi David Saperstein, a veteran Reform movement leader — report directly to the secretary of state. It also adds new requirements for presidential reporting to Congress on religious freedom violations and training for diplomats in identifying violations of religious freedoms.

ZIMBABWE: 14-year-old dies from genital cutting in hospital

Manica Post (Zimbabwe)
May , 2016

Circumcision goes terribly wrong. . . as boy dies during procedure

by Samuel Kadungure, Senior Reporter
A 14-YEAR-OLD boy, Ashley Matsvaire, died while undergoing voluntary medical male circumcision at Triangle Hospital in Chiredzi, on Tuesday, The Manica Post can reveal.

The incident left the boy’s parents seething with anger and alleging negligence on part of the hospital staff.

Mr Daniel Matsvaire, the boy’s father, said they had since requested an independent pathologist to ascertain the actual cause of his death.

The Matsvaires have since met the medical team whose explanation for Ashley’s death was internal secretion which resulted in water being leaked into his lungs.

His mother, Mrs Tendai Jamela, said her son was in a jovial mood when she escorted him to the hospital for circumcision around 6am.

“There is an element of negligence on the part of the team involved because when he returned from the theatre, he was lifeless. I was called in to look at him, but his body was very cold. I asked Dr Ziki why he was lifeless, but he told me that he had injected him with another injection to stop the pain. I insisted again after some time as he remained in that state of unconsciousness and again the doctor told me not to worry,” said Mrs Jamela.

She said the boy was given an epileptic tablet and water as they prepared him for surgery.

“Ashley was epileptic and they gave him some medication as they prepared him for theatre. They went on to inject him to cause him to sleep while they perform the process, but he never regained consciousness,” said Mrs Jamela, who said she never left the hospital premises and became suspicious when the process dragged for nearly two hours.

Mr Daniel Matsvaire, the boy’s father, said he met the hospital authorities late Wednesday afternoon where he was advised by one Dr Ziki that they had opted to inject the child due to his epileptic condition.

“The doctor said the circumcision surgery was successful and at some point the boy showed signs of life, but became unconscious again. Their explanation was that he developed an internal secretion and released water into the lungs and died.

We are requesting a second specialist opinion from an independent pathologist because their explanation does not add up....

Masvingo police spokesperson, Inspector Charity Mazula, said ...“I ... have tasked someone in Chiredzi to investigate the matter[.]”...