(ABC NEWS) A 12-year-old girl died this week in southern Egypt after her parents brought her to a doctor who performed female genital mutilation, a criminal practice that remains widespread in the region, according to a judicial statement.
The girl's death in the province of Assiut prompted Egypt's public prosecutor to order the arrests of her parents and the physician who preformed the procedure, also known as female circumcision, said the statement released late Thursday by the prosecutor's office.
Since the mid-1990s, Egypt has been battling the centuries-old practice, which is misguidedly believed to control women's sexuality. In 2008, a law banning the cutting of female genitalia was passed in Parliament despite strong opposition from conservative voices. But a 2015 government survey found that 87% percent of all Egyptian women between 15 and 49 years of age have been circumcised.
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