Man jailed for illegally circumcising young boys

A Swedish court has sentenced a man to prison for performing illegal circumcisions, the first-ever conviction under the country's laws on the circumcision of boys.

A 50-year-old Egyptian citizen was sentenced by Södertorn District Court on Monday to two months in prison for illegally removing the foreskin from small boys.

The man was on trial for having circumcised nine boys without a licence to do so issued by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

The case marked the first time that Sweden’s law on circumcising boys had been tested in court since coming into force nine years ago.

He was also convicted for assault for having circumcised a boy from Tierp in eastern Sweden without sufficient anaesthesia and two counts of causing bodily harm involving two brothers from the Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka who suffered tissue damage, pain and loss of circulation from a bandage that was used as a tourniquet.

During the trial, a film was shown to support allegations that the boy from Tierp wasn’t sufficiently anesthetized during the procedure.

In addition to serving time in prison, the man must also pay 14,600 kronor ($2,140) in compensation to a boy from Tierp, as well as 4,600 kronor to the two other boys, the local Arbetarbladet newspaper reported on Tuesday.

According to the Swedish law, which came into force in 2001, only people with a special licence issued by the health board can perform circumcisions for non-medical reasons and only on children younger than two months old.

Doctors can also carry out the procedure, including on older children.

The 50-year-old previously had a licence to perform circumcisions, but the health board revoked it because of doubts about his abilities.

The health board doesn’t think Sweden’s law works, estimating that only one-third of the roughly 3,000 boys circumcised for religious reasons in Sweden each year have the procedure performed by people with authorisation.

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