BUENOS AIRES — The right to protection from arbitrary detention, known as Habeas Corpus, is one of humanity's greatest achievements, the fruit of England's Glorious Revolution of 1688. Now, a group of animal-rights activists in Argentina is demanding its application for an orangutan, which they say is being "illegally deprived of its liberty" inside the zoo in Buenos Aires.
The AFADA group has taken legal action on behalf of Sandra — a Sumatran orangutan the daily Clarín showed seated and pulling a pretty green and flowered sheet over its head — alleging it was not only being treated as a prisoner, but had to suffer the "presence of the public staring at it."
Judicial authorities have said habeas corpus does not apply to animals, but that they would investigate to check if Sandra was being mistreated. Buenos Aires judge Mónica Berdión de Crudo told AFADA that the courts would check for violations of a 1954 law to protect animals. The judge noted that this law, unlike habeas corpus, does apply to orangutans.
Photo: AFADA Facebook page