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Russian Police Investigate the Parents of a Boy Who Died After a Home Circumcision

Anna Kuznetsova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights Kremlin Press Service

Anna Kuznetsova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, says criminal charges should be brought against the parents of a three-year-old boy in Krasnoyarsk, who died earlier this month after a botched circumcision performed at home, according to the news agency RIA Novosti.

Kuznetsova, a devout Russian Orthodox Christian, says the boy’s parents must be held accountable for his death, regardless of whatever religious reasons they had for circumcising him at home and denying him proper medical attention. She also told reporters that there’s no need for additional legislation in response to this death, explaining that existing laws against endangering children are sufficient to prosecute those responsible.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated situation,” Kuznetsova said on Jan. 13. “Every time, it’s shocking to realize that this kind of thing happens in our world, but it’s very difficult to predict, study, and monitor these religious incidents. Typically, families like this are very closed in their principles.”

On Jan. 9, Russian police announced a criminal investigation into the death of the child, who underwent a circumcision at home on Jan. 6, performed by a surgeon summoned by his mother. The boy then became seriously ill, and his mother’s efforts to treat her son with various medicines failed. He died at home, without ever being hospitalized.

Yulia Zimova, a member of a presidential council on family issues, previously stated that criminal charges would be inappropriate, given that the deceased boy’s parents “have already been punished by fate.”

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