FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Founders firstname.lastname@example.org “Bohra women demand evidence for claims published in TOI story” MUMBAI, June 5, 2017. Bohra women issued a vehement rebuttal of statements made by Dr. KK Aggarwal, national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Dr. Duru Shah, scientific director of Gynaecworld, a women’s health centre, in a Times of India article published on June 2, 2017. “There is no evidence that female circumcision is harmful,” said Rashida Diwan, speaking on behalf of the women’s group DBWRF, which supports female circumcision as practiced by the Bohra community. “Dr. Aggarwal claims that research reveals long-term health complications. We would like to see the research to which he is referring. No such research exists. The claims made were irresponsible from a man holding a post of such responsibility.” The group also took exception at the remarks made by Dr. Duru Shah. “It is particularly surprising that Dr. Duru Shah would say female circumcision as practiced by the Bohras is harmful, since it was Dr. Duru Shah herself who said she had never seen FGM among her Bohra patients in an interview with the American Consulate on International Women’s Day in 2009,” said Diwan. In the interview mentioned, Dr. Shah said if circumcision amongst Bohras was universal, it must be a very minor excision since she had never seen it. This is reported in an internal memo by the US intelligence organisation, CIA. DBWRF maintains that female circumcision, as an extremely minor procedure, less invasive than male circumcision cannot be lumped in the same boat as more severe genital modification procedures. The research and complications referred to by anti-FGM activists all refer to severe genital modification, and not circumcision as practiced by the Bohras. Khafz, as it is called, is harmless as evidenced by the tens of thousands of Bohra women who have been circumcised and live healthy lives, including the Bohra patients of Dr. Shah. The organization has uploaded a paper explaining how the World Health Organization legislation does not justifiably cover khafz at https://dbwrf.org/articles/view/21.