A father (35) of two sons from Hoofddorp was acquitted of abusing his children after circumcising them without their mother's permission. The man, a Moroccan Muslim who is divorced, had circumcised his sons, ages 3 and 6, while they were by him on a weekend in 2005.
Male circumcision is not illegal on its own in the Netherlands, but because in this case was performed against the mother's wishes, the public prosecution decided to prosecute the man.
The Amsterdam court decided that there is no issue of abuse. Male circumcision is, according ot the judges, 'socially embedded' and should not regarded as abuse or mutilation.
The judges did convict the man for taking the kids from parental authority, the second fact for which he was prosecuted. He should not have taken his kids to the doctor without their mother's consent. For this he was sentenced to a suspended sentence of six weeks in prison. The prosecution had asked for six weeks for abuse and for four months for taking the kids.
The father said that the children had been by him during that weekend with their mother's permission, and therefore he did not take them from parental authority.
The mother, who is Dutch, had told the police that in the past she had agreed to the circumcision, but after the divorce decided that they should decide on their own when they were old enough.
The doctor who performed the circumcision and who neglected to check whether the father had legal authority over the boys, was cautioned by the medical disciplinary tribunal.
Sources: Telegraaf, Parool (Dutch)