Prosecutors are calling for suspended prison sentences for the parents of two Helsinki families who had their school-aged sons undergo religious-based circumcisions in 2009 and 2010.
The man who performed the procedure was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and battery.
The parents are on trial at Helsinki District Court on charges of incitement to commit aggravated assault and battery. All defendants pleaded innocent.
The boys, both Muslims, were seven and 12 years old respectively when the procedures took place.
The parents had asked if the circumcisions could be performed as part of public health care. After getting a negative response, they found a person who said he could do the procedure.
The man performing the procedures said that he had trained as a nurse in Iran and had performed more than 20,000 circumcisions during his career. He lacks the necessary licences in Finland.
As a tool he used an electric device which cuts the foreskin by heating the skin. The man said that the method is safer than the traditional blade.
The younger boy healed fairly quickly, but the older boy got an infection. He had to visit a doctor many times and spent a month away from school because he was unable to walk.
The Finnish Supreme Court has given a ruling on non-medical circumcisions in Finland. The court ruled in one case that religiously mandated circumcisions are not a crime in Finland if they are performed by a competent medical professional.
The prosecution and the defence in the present case took two different views of the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The prosecutor feels that only licensed doctors should perform circumcisions.
The court is to give its decision in the matter next week.