The Be’er Sheva District Court sentenced a female asylum seeker from Eritrea on Wednesday to four months in prison for circumcising her four year-old son herself. The woman, who has only been identified publicly as A. A., had already been in detention for past last ten months, and was therefore released to her home in Eilat after being given credit for time served.
She was arrested in March 2016 following the circumcision and then released. She was re-arrested a year later after she tried to escape to Jordan. After that, she was held in detention because authorities could not find a location from which she would not try to flee again. Her son has been in the care of a foster family.
In a ruling in the case last week, District Court Judge Aharon Mishnayot acquitted the woman of charges of abusing a minor and of causing serious bodily harm under aggravated circumstances. She was convicted on the more minor charge of neglecting her parental duties and of interfering with a policeman in the line of duty. Those charges could have carried a maximum sentence of three years in jail.