Friday 11 March 2011

Argentina: Court to rule on extraction on blood

I take six months off from blogging and when I get back, the Herrera-Noble case is rumbling on with apparently little progress having been made. The Argentine justice system certainly knows about delayed gratification.

Anyway, Pagina/12 is now reporting that a court will rule within the next five days whether to uphold the ruling of judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado that samples of blood and saliva should be taken forcibly from Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera, adopted children of Clarin director Ernestina Herrera de Noble and suspected biological children of disappeared persons.

The court yesterday heard from lawyers from both sides. The Nobles' lawyers repeated their refusal to submit to a voluntary extraction of their DNA and criticised the ruling that this should be taken by force. It was argued that taking DNA without consent was equivalent to "an act of torture, humiliation, inhuman and degrading treatment."

In reply, lawyers for the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo and two families of the disappeared pointed out that DNA testing was routinely compulsory in the cases of crimes. "If it was an act of torture, no one would be allowed to take blood samples from anyone, whether accused or victim", they said.

You could argue for or against the rights and wrongs of forcing the two adults to find out whether their biological parents were murdered by the State, but in the light of the torture perpetrated against thousands of Argentina citizens during the dictatorship, it seems pretty crass to use the word to refer to a blood test.

Para definir si se extrae la sangre (Pagina/12)

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