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U.N. backs 'dwarf-tossing' ban


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GENEVA, Switzerland -- A French ban on the controversial practice of "dwarf-tossing" has been upheld by the U.N. Human Rights Committee.

Manuel Wackenheim began his fight in 1995 after the French ban meant he could no longer earn a living being thrown around discotheques and nightclubs by burly men.

But on Friday, Wackenheim -- who measures 1.14 metres (3 feet 10 inches) -- lost his case when the U.N. human rights body ruled the need to protect human dignity was paramount.

In a statement, 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.



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