Rwanda Channels Oliver Wendell Holmes

by Kevin Jon Heller

Apparently, that bastion of freedom and human rights didn’t get the memo that Holmes’ infamous comment in Buck v. Bell — that “three generations of imbeciles are enough” — isn’t exactly viewed as a shining moment in US constitutional jurisprudence:

Rwanda is being urged to drop a draft law which would forcibly sterilise people who are mentally disabled.

US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch said the proposed law was deeply flawed and violated the government’s obligation to uphold human rights.

It also requires people to have an HIV test before getting married.

“Provisions in the current bill that increase stigma, rely on coercion and deny… reproductive rights should be removed,” HRW’s Joe Amon said.

Forced sterilisation is regarded as a crime against humanity by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

This is, of course, the government that expresses shock and outrage at the ICTR’s unwillingness to transfer cases to it because of fears that defendants will not receive fair trials.  Whatever could have given the Tribunal that idea?

http://opiniojuris.org/2009/07/01/rwanda-channels-oliver-wendell-holmes/

2 Responses

  1. On the plus side, I can see good reasons for the HIV testing.

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