U.N. Upholds Ban on 'Dwarf Throwing'
Sep 27, 10:54 am ET
GENEVA (Reuters) - A tiny stuntman who protested against a French ban on the bizarre practice of "dwarf throwing" lost his case before a U.N. human rights body, which said the need to protect human dignity was paramount.
Manuel Wackenheim had argued 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 Friday the U.N. Human Rights Committee said it was satisfied "the ban on dwarf-tossing was not abusive but necessary in order to protect public order, including considerations of human dignity." The committee also said the ban "did not amount to prohibited discrimination."
The pastime, imported from the United States and Australia in the 1980s, consists of people throwing tiny stuntmen as far as possible, usually in a bar or discotheque.
The stuntman wears a crash helmet and padded clothing which has handles on the back to facilitate throwing the human projectile.
The Frenchman, who measures 1.14 meter (3 ft 10 inches), filed his case in 1999 with the U.N. committee made up of 18 independent experts who examine states' compliance with the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.