On January 20, 2021, the Council of Ministers approved a bill that would increase penalties for the crime of female genital mutilation. the new amendments impose harsher penalties for the crime of FGM as follows: Approval of a bill amending some provisions of the Penal Code No. 58 of 1937, to establish a deterrent punishment for crimes of FGM, and the amendments came in Articles (242 bis) and (242 bis A). The amendment stipulated in Article (242 bis) that “Whoever performs FGM by removing part of her genitals or modifying, mutilating, or inflicting injuries to those organs shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of no less than five years. If that act results in a permanent disability, the penalty shall be temporary hard labor, for a period of no less than 7 years, but if the act leads to death, the penalty shall be temporary hard labor, for a period of no less than 10 years. The amendment also stipulated, in this article, that the punishment shall be severe imprisonment, if the person who performed FGM was a doctor or practicing the profession of nursing. If his crime resulted in a permanent disability, the penalty shall be hard labor for a period of not less than 10 years, but if the act leads to death, the punishment is temporary hard labor, for a period not less than 15 years and not exceeding 20 years.
According to the amendment, the court shall rule, in addition to the aforementioned penalties, to dismiss the offender from his position, for a period not exceeding 5 years if the crime was committed due to or in connection with the performance of his job, and to deprive the perpetrator from practicing the profession for a similar period. Moreover, to close the private facility in which the FGM was performed. If the facility was licensed, the period of closure will be equal to the period of prevention from practicing the profession, with its plates and banners removed, whether it was owned by the doctor who committed the crime, or its actual director was aware of it. The judgment will be published in two widely spread daily newspapers and websites that the judge appoints at the expense of the convicted person.
The amendments in Article (242 bis A) also stipulated that “anyone who requests female FGM and is mutilated at his request shall be punished with imprisonment, as stipulated in Article 242 bis. Anyone who promotes, encourages, or calls for FGM in one of the ways Set forth in Article (171) shall be punished with imprisonment for committing the crime of FGM, even if his act has no effect.