„Egypt’s cabinet approved on Sunday a draft bill designating the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) a felony, raising prison terms for those convicted of performing the procedure, health minister Ahmed Emad announced.
Emad said that the new bill amends the law criminalising FGM, currently a misdemeanour, by stiffening penalties to between five and seven years in prison instead of the current three months to two years for practitioners who perform the procedure.
Those who ‚escort‘ victims to the procedure can also face jail sentences ranging from one to three years.
The bill, which has been sent to parliament for ratification, also carries a stiffened penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment if the practice leads to death or a ‚permanent deformity.‘ Although FGM by its very nature leads to deformity, Egyptian law does not consider the act in itself as leading to ‚permanent deformity.‘
The health minister said that the current FGM rate in Egypt is 91 percent, despite the law passed in 2008 criminalising the practice.“
(Ahram Online: „New bill increases jail terms as FGM becomes a felony in Egypt“