German court: Circumcision on Jewish boys is assault

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BERLIN (AP) -- A German court has ruled that circumcising Jewish boys amounts to bodily harm even if parents consent to the procedure.

The state court in Cologne said the child's right to physical integrity trumps freedom of religion and parents' rights, German news agency DAPD reported Tuesday.

The case involved a doctor accused of carrying out a circumcision on a 4-year-old that led to medical complications. The doctor was acquitted, however, and prosecutors said they won't appeal.

The president of Germany's Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, called the ruling "unprecedented and insensitive."

He urged parliament to clarify the legal situation "to protect religious freedom against attacks."

Graumann said the circumcision of newborn Jews has been practiced for thousands of years and "every country in the world respects this religious right."

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