Boy tragically bleeds to death after home circumcision

Backstreet surgery tragedy. Credit: Dario Lo Presti/Shutterstock.

Police have revealed that a 20-day-old boy has died in Rome after a failed home ritual circumcision, writes The Daily Mail.

The boy’s parents rushed him to the hospital on Friday March 24, and two Nigerian women have been arrested in connection with the infant’s death.

The two women have been charged with aggravated manslaughter and illegal exercise of a profession.

The boy’s mother is also being investigated on suspicion of conspiracy to commit manslaughter.

Previous cases have been reported from Italy. In Rome, December 2018 there was a similar incident involving a two-year-old boy who underwent a circumcision operation performed by an American citizen of Libyan origin. The boy’s twin brother narrowly survived his operation following treatment in intensive care.


The Italian press reported at the time that the doctor of the deceased child had called for help after he started to bleed excessively.


His mother was believed to be of Nigerian origin, and despite being Catholic reportedly asked for the operation to be performed in line with Islamic traditions. 


Circumcision is requested by many Muslim immigrants in Italy for cultural and religious reasons, but it is not common practice among Italy’s Roman Catholic population.


Most hospital doctors refuse to perform the surgery until boys have reached the age of four, leading many to seek the services of backstreet surgeries and private clinics.

According to health charity Amsi over 5,000 circumcisions are performed in Italy every year, with 35 per cent of them being done secretly.

Private clinics often charge up to 4000 euros, but backstreet surgeries offer the operation for between 50 and 200 euros.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.