09/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Egypt: Female Genital Mutilation Arrest Made

Egypt has arrested the first person under its ban on female genital mutilation, Al Arabiya reports.

Ahmed Gad al-Karim, 69, was arrested on charges of illegally circumcising an 11-year-old girl.
Hospital staff alerted authorities after the girl was admitted with heavy bleeding following the circumcision, according to Al Arabiya.

WHO estimates that somewhere between 100 and 140 million women and girls are currently living with the after-effects of FGM, while Unicef places the figure at around 70 million.

Egypt introduced a complete ban of female circumcision in 2008, after the death of a 12-year-old as a result of the procedure sparked public and political outrage, the BBC reported.

Al Aribya reports that the ban has been criticized by the Muslim Brotherhood and independent politicians who argue that it is part of Sharia law, but Egyptian lawmakers said it was a cultural, not Islamic, practice and the government is committed to protecting Egyptian children.

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