x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Circumcision is 'assault': German court

German court rules that circumcising young boys amounts to bodily harm even if parents consent to the procedure.

BERLIN // A German court has ruled that circumcising young boys amounts to bodily harm even if parents consent to the procedure.

Cologne state court said the child's right to physical integrity trumps freedom of religion and parents' rights, German news agency dapd reported on Tuesday.

The case involved a doctor accused of carrying out a circumcision on a 4-year-old Jewish boy that led to medical complications. The doctor was acquitted, however, and prosecutors said they won't appeal.

The president of Germany's Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, called the ruling "unprecedented and insensitive".

He urged parliament to clarify the legal situation "to protect religious freedom against attacks".

Graumann said the circumcision of newborn Jews has been practised for thousands of years and "every country in the world respects this religious right".