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    Update on Forced DNA Testing in Argentina

    In 2009, Argentina’s Congress passed a law authorizing “the forced extraction of DNA from people who may have been born to political prisoners slain a quarter-century ago – even when they don’t want to know their birth parents,” reported the Associated Press. Predictably, there has been litigation over the law and whether it is an illegal invasion of individuals’ bodies and identities. Now, BBC News has an update:

    An Argentine court has ruled that the heirs to the country’s main media group must submit to DNA-testing, to see if they were born to left-wing prisoners killed by the military in the 1970s.

    Judges ruled that Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera – adopted children of the Clarin Group owner – must give direct samples such as blood or saliva. They will be compared with samples on a genetic database linked to the missing. The siblings object to the tests. Their mother says their adoption was legal. […]

    The issue of babies taken from prisoners during the country’s so-called Dirty War is a highly emotive one in Argentina.

    Several hundred babies are believed to have been taken from their detained parents and given to families loyal to the military during its 1976-83 rule. […]

    The Noble Herrera siblings claim their rights have been violated.

    They say their DNA is private, that they have no desire to trace their biological parents, and that they are victims of political persecution.

    In recent years, the media group owned by their adoptive mother, Ernestina Noble Herrera, has been staunchly opposed to the current government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

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