Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

'Iraq wants role for Iran in anti-IS coalition', says foreign minister

Read more

ENCORE!

Margaret Atwood: A Prophetic Writer in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

Italy: The search for missing migrants

Read more

WEB NEWS

News media urged not to show Islamic State group videos

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is Valls crying wolf?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Prospect of separation from Scotland stirs sadness in England and Wales

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

No resolution in sight to Air France dispute

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Fighting back against facial recognition

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: UN takes over country's peacekeeping

Read more

Europe

Berlin hospital halt circumcisions after contested court ruling

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-29

Medical staff at Berlin's Jewish Hospital have decided to suspend circumcisions after a regional court in Cologne controversially ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds violated German laws against causing bodily harm.

AFP - Berlin's Jewish Hospital will suspend circumcisions after a German court ruled this week that performing the procedure on religious grounds is unlawful, a hospital spokesman said Friday.

"We are suspending circumcisions until the legal position is clear," Gerhard Nerlich told AFP, citing head of internal medicine Kirstof Graf.

The hospital performs 300 circumcisions a year, a third of which are for religious reasons and the remainder due to medical concerns.

"We regularly performed circumcisions before this ruling but we don't have the legal freedom to do so any more," said Nerlich, adding that two procedures had already been cancelled.

Earlier on Friday German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle weighed in the debate, saying the country protected religious freedom and traditions.

"The ruling on circumcision has provoked annoyance internationally," Westerwelle wrote on his official Twitter account.

"We have to be clear: religious traditions are protected in Germany," he added.

A regional court in Cologne ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm in a judgement which triggered accusations that parents' rights were being trampled on.

The case, which could set a precedent, was brought against a doctor in Cologne who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents' wishes.

A few days after the operation, his parents took him to hospital as he was bleeding heavily and prosecutors charged the doctor.

The court later acquitted the doctor himself of causing harm.

Muslim and Jewish groups along with top Christian clerics have voiced opposition to the ruling.

Westerwelle was also quoted in the Bild's online edition on Thursday saying that Germany "is an open and tolerant country where religious freedom is well established and where religious traditions like circumcision as an expression of religious diversity are protected."

 

Date created : 2012-06-29

COMMENT(S)