World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany's Justice Ministry has outlined a planned new law that will allow the circumcision of infant boys and end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice.
The ruling in June by a district court in Cologne outraged Muslims and Jews and sparked an emotional debate in the country, leaving an embarrassed government to promise legislation by the autumn protecting the right to circumcise.
Although the ban applied only to the Cologne region, doctors across the country refused to carry out operations because of what they saw as a risk of legal action.
The outline draft of a new bill states that the operation should take place "with the most effective pain relief possible" and only if parents have been fully informed about the nature of the procedure, a ministry spokesman said.
Generally doctors would carry out circumcisions but if the baby boy is less than six months old than it can also performed by another qualified person, such as a mohel, a Jewish individual specially trained in circumcising.
The ministry's outline bill, a first but critical step towards creating the new law, has been sent to Germany's federal states ahead of a consultation with experts due later this week.
According to the spokesman the outlines were based on parents' constitutional right to bring up their children and decide on all matters concerning them. The state, however, has a responsibility as watchdog to protect a child's wellbeing.
The speed with which national lawmakers agreed in July to pass a new law underscored sensitivity to charges of intolerance in a country haunted by its Nazi past. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany risked becoming a laughing stock if Jews were not allowed to practise their rituals.
Around 4 million Muslims, many of whom are from Turkey are registered as living in Germany along with about 120,000 Jews.
The Cologne court, ruling in the case of a Muslim boy who suffered bleeding after circumcision, said the practice inflicted bodily harm and should not be carried out on young boys, although it could be practised on older males with consent.
Turkish PM pays two-day visit to Kazakhstan to discuss transportation, energy and trade issues
Three masked gunmen armed with knives and a meat cleaver threatened a family in Salford Manchester. The crime is now being investigated as a race crime.
Just one day after the Shebab overtook the Merka port, Somali and AU troops have retaken the key port
Somalia's Shebab retook their former stronghold of Merka on Friday from African Union troops who pulled out of the port they had held for three-and-a-half years
More than 100 people have been killed from a fever outbreak forcing the UN to launch a response against the epidemic.
On Friday the Pentagon released close to 200 photographs of detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, taken mostly between 2004 and 2006
Despite an assets freeze and travel ban, a commander was able to fly to Chad and a number of other countries.
Leaders agree potential North Korean satellite launch would violate UN sanctions
'Tunisia's parliament made a significant breakthrough for human rights by approving proposed changes in detainee rights,' the rights watchdog says
The meeting will be the first of its kind since a schism in the 11th Century split what was then the only Christian Church into Western and Eastern branches
German and French interior minister stress out that refugee flow from Turkey must be reduced
German chancellor is due to meet Turkish premier to discuss ways to make progress on reducing illegal migration and replacing it with legal migration
Neither Russian president nor foreign minister are planning to contact with their Turkish colleagues
'The AU troops pulled out of the town and Shebab militants entered, and have secured control without fighting'
'Albania is faced with an ecological disaster and we are obliged to take drastic measures against forest exploitation for industry and export,' environment minister says