In Germany guardian?s authority over a child does not allow them to subject them to a circumcision procedure, which the court called minor bodily harm. Not even a religious freedom, which is protected by law in Germany, give grounds for such decisions to be taken for the children, according to the court ruling.
A German court has ruled that parents are not allowed to have their sons circumcised based on religious grounds. This move has angered some Jewish and Muslim groups in the country.
A court was considering a case against a Muslim doctor, who performed circumcision on a four-year-old boy at his parents? request. Two days after the procedure the kid started bleeding and had to be taken to hospital.
German authorities learned about the incident and launched a criminal investigation against the doctor. The initial court trial ruled that there was no violation of the law, but the prosecutor?s office took the case to the Cologne district court. The decision sets a precedent, which may affect medical practice across the country.
The possible ban on circumcision provoked outrage among Jewish and Muslim organizations in Germany, where every year over thousands of boys are circumcised in their early years at the request of their parents. They regard the ban as a strange and serious interference in the right to freedom of religion. But none of the organizations so far has challenged the verdict, explaining they first need a thorough study to the reasoning of the judges before they make any move.
Some experts however are of the opinion that, if the affected Jewish and Muslim organizations should later make an appeal, the right for religiously motivated circumcision will be considered by the Federal Constitutional Court.
FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg – Germany)