Thursday, 30 October 2008

Argentina: Obtaining DNA of Disappeared Children

The DNA results of samples taken from sheets, clothes, and toothbrushes will now be confirmed, according to Pagina/12. The Supreme Court judges have now reached a majority on the subject, although not all of them have yet given their decision. This is with respect to the ongoing attempts to identify children of the disappeared who were brought up in ignorance of their identity. Not all of them have agreed to undergo blood tests, so the Grandmothers and their legal advisors have explored different methods of confirming their identity.

At stake is the issue of whether
"on the one hand, the State may oblige a person to find out their true identity; if obtaining genetic material (whether from hair or saliva) without consent is a violation of privacy, and if, moreover, if this material may be used in a court case which could involve the adopted parents."

In June this year, the attorney general Esteban Righi maintained that it is an obligation of the State "to investigate and clarify the historical truth about the crimes against humanity of the forced disappearance of persons" and that, with this aim, it is necessary to adopt "all means" possible even though this implies "the intrusion of state institutions charged with the investigation into the freedom, the privacy, the private life and the integrity of persons, including those who are not accused."[...] Guillermo Prieto had claimed that "no biological material which is capable of confirming identity (...) may be used without the consent of the person to which it belongs". Righi responded that with this criterium it would be impossible to judge cases of murder and rape.
(Translation mine)

Para obtener el ADN por otros medios

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