A man is his 30s is being prosecuted for having circumcised at least nine boys in the Swedish towns of Gävle and Söderhamn using a soldering gun as a tool and no anaesthesia whatsoever, the news outlet Hela Hälsingland reported.
The man charged reportedly received nine months of medical training in Syria, but has no such training in Sweden.
He explained using a soldering gun in the process in order “to kill off the bacteria with heat”. The man considered himself an expert in circumcisions, but has no permission to perform the operation in Sweden.
According to the indictment, he has circumcised a total of nine boys, seven of whom have had complications that in some cases may need to be corrected with surgical procedures. One of the outcomes was described as “one giant wound”.
The parents paid for the medical procedure using the Swish payment service and were under the delusion that it was all legal and safe.
They unanimously stated that the person who organised the circumcisions used to be in charge of the now closed Muslim pre-school Bilaal in Söderhamn and was perceived as reliable. According to the parents, the man was also active in the interventions by holding the boys. He himself said that he only participated as an interpreter. He is currently not suspected of any crime.
“He was unaware that this person did not have a permit, therefore it is impossible to prove that the suspect had the intent required for the procedure to be classified as criminal”, prosecutor Micael Dahlberg Hela Hälsingland.
The “doctor” is now charged with assault, causing gross bodily harm, and violating the circumcision law.
Male circumcision is legal in Sweden, however there is a perennial debate about its ethicality, and many, including the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education urge to ban it alongside female circumcision, which is more often referred to as female genital mutilation, or FGM, and has been illegal since 1982.
In late 2019, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet sounded the alarm about the spread of illegal circumcisions in Sweden, often performed by people without medical credentials or legal permission to operate. The illegal operations usually take place at home and are usually several thousand kronor cheaper than doing a non-medically justified circumcision legally.
While there is no exact data on how many people in Sweden are circumcised, a government estimate says that between 80-85 percent of Jewish boys, almost 100 Muslim boys and almost all boys of African origin are circumcised, regardless of how secular their families are.