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Father 'not guilty' in circumcision case

Wednesday 07 May 2008

A father who had his sons aged three and six circumcised against the wishes of his ex-wife has been found not guilty of causing them serious physical harm, the Parool reports on Wednesday.

But the man was given a six week suspended jail term for taking the boys away from their mother, who has custody, against her will.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I'd sure like to see the whole story. I can't imagine what details came up in court that would allow them call amputation of over half the sexual nerve endings - and loss of the protective and mechanical functions of the prepuce - anything less than serious physical harm. I should hope this ruling does not reduce the sons' rights to sue their father in civil court.

By Ron Low | 8 May 2008 6:28 PM

"Serious physical harm" was perhaps too strong a charge - though if it had been any other part of the body, or if they had been girls.... They were certainly harmed, both physically and psychologically.

By Hugh Young | 8 May 2008 10:23 PM

We had a similar case to this in Australia. The judge neglected to try the father for criminal charges despite the fact that by circumcising the sons he had broken orders by the Family Court of Australia. The father harmed the sons to harm the mother, who had custody. I would have hoped that in the Netherlands, where less judges themselves would be circumcised compared to in Australia, that minors subjected to unnecessary and traumatic amputations would receive more sympathy and the father be made an example of by a jail sentance of at least one year for each child harmed.

By Shane | 8 May 2008 11:55 PM

No serious physical harm from circumcision? How was this determined? Did they take into account what was physically removed? Did they not consider the loss of most of their penile nerves and 3/4 of their sexual sensations?

Would there have been a same decision if it had been any other normal, functioning body part removed against their wishes--or their mother's wishes?

Or did they just turn a blind eye to the physical evidence so as not to disturb some religious belief?

By Tandy | 9 May 2008 3:16 AM

How sad that the Dutch, celebrated for their noble, heroic, and exemplary defense of human rights, have now chosen not to protect male babies from sexual mutilation.

How sad.

By Gary Harryman | 9 May 2008 5:49 PM

Disputes between parents about male circumcision come up regularly. When the courts get in first they postpone the decision until the child is old enough to decide for himself. When they don't, they go out of their way not to penalize the parent who arranges the circumcision. In one case in Finland, a mother who arranged for her child to be circumcised was convicted but no penalty was recorded. I believe that there is a clear need for circumcision to be prohibited unless both parents agree to it.

By Michael | 10 May 2008 1:47 AM

It's quite entertaining to see Western Culture condemn the forceful mutilation of females on any grounds, religious or "medical," but tip-toe around male circumcision wearing the cloak of "cultural awareness." If taking healthy boys and destroying normal, healthy tissue on their penises can't be called "sexually abusive physical harm," then what is it? How is it the same exact principle is called "mutilation" in a female, but a "sacred cultural rite" in a male?" Absolutely ridiculous.

By Joe in CA | 12 May 2008 11:34 AM

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