Argentine court extends human rights to a Orangutan 

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Dec 22, Buenos Aires: An Argentine court has ruled that the Sumatran orangutan ‘Sandra’, who has been kept in an Argentine zoo for 20 years should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom on Monday.

The ruling, signed by the judges unanimously, will see to it that Sandra is freed from captivity and is transferred to a nature sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a “non-human person” with some basic human rights. The “habeas corpus”, ruling in favor of the orangutan was requested last November by the Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) alleging that Sandra suffered “unjustified confinement of an animal with proven cognitive ability.” Habeas corpus is a fundamental legal term in human rights, that dates back to the reign of Edward I in England in the early 14th century. At that time, courts began requiring the monarchy to report the reasons behind restricted freedom of a subject.

According to reports, Lawyers argued that just as a person, the ape is capable of maintaining emotional ties and has the ability to reason, while feeling frustrated with her confinement. “The legal team had claimed that the 29-year old orangutan can make decisions, is self-aware and has the perception of time. And, therefore, all things considered, Sandra’s presence at the Zoo constituted illegal deprivation of liberty,” they said, in a statement.

 

The Oslo Times

 

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