Projectile dwarf case thrown out

Stefanie Nebehay
Saturday 28 September 2002 00:00
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A tiny stuntman who protested against a French ban on the bizarre practice of dwarf-throwing has lost his case before a UN human rights body which said the need to protect human dignity was paramount.

Manuel Wackenheim, 35 and 3ft 10in tall, had claimed the 1995 ban by France's highest administrative court was discriminatory and deprived him of a job being hurled around discotheques by burly men.

In a statement yesterday the UN rights committee said it was satisfied "the ban on dwarf-tossing was not abusive but necessary to protect public order, including considerations of human dignity". It also said the ban "did not amount to prohibited discrimination".

Mr Wackenheim said France had violated his freedom and right to work. There were no jobs for a dwarf in France and his work did not constitute an attack on human dignity, "because dignity is finding a job".

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