A Nottingham mother claims police refused to take action when her baby boy was circumcised without her consent, leaving him with significant and long-lasting complications.
The procedure was carried out in July 2013 while the boy was in the care of his paternal grandparents, who are Muslim. The boy’s mother only discovered what had happened when she found his nappy soaked in blood, reports the BBC.
“I opened the nappy and I ended up having to leave the room because I felt hysterical,” said the mother, who asked to remain anonymous.
“It was just awful really, it wasn’t very nice, there was all blood there and stuff.”
The mother went to social services and the police who dismissed the incident as not being a criminal matter.
“It’s even illegal to dock dogs’ tails. I’ve come home crying my eyes out thinking a dog has got more rights than my child,” she said.
“There’s something seriously not right with it all. You can protect a dog, you can protect a girl, but not a boy.”
— Men Do Complain (@mendocomplain) June 22, 2017
The case was finally picked up when the boy’s mother sought help from Men Do Complain, a group which campaigns under the slogan “Children’s Rights Not Parents’ Rites”, and Human Rights lawyer Saimo Chahal QC.
Police reopened the investigation and three suspects, including a 61-year-old man believed to be a doctor, and a 44-year-old man and 47-year-old woman believed to be the boy’s paternal grandparents, have now been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
She said one of the most difficult things to deal with had been the official indifference of the authorities:
“Even a couple of police officers have made remarks like ‘Oh my husband is circumcised, I think it’s better’. Or ‘Oh they are tougher than they look, it will toughen him up’. It’s just silly little comments like that. It’s just heartbreaking.
“I wrote to MPs and they basically shoved me off. Everybody you speak to it’s like speaking to a brick wall.”
She said her son complained of pain after he learned to speak, with the procedure apparently having been botched.
“It looks like he’s been half circumcised is the only way to describe it. There’s half the skin, it’s not all the way over,” she said.
“It swells up, it gets red and a little bit sore in places.”