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Youth's Return to Zimbabwe

January 24, 1988

The Supreme Court has ruled that the 9-year-old son of a Zimbabwe diplomat must be forced to return to his parents who are accused of repeatedly subjecting him to physical torture while in our country (Part I, Jan. 16).

It is morally necessary and politically expedient for us to make it clear that we will protect this child from the possibility of further abuse because we care about children and we care about human rights. If the State Department can't negotiate a way of preventing further victimization and assure him of protective, nurturing parenting, then Congress should act.

Sadism imposed on children by their parents is as evil as evil can be. We are now obliged to make a choice between cynical expediency and our concern for the good of a human being.

If laws result in child abuse, then the laws must be changed. The Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting the laws. But we, as a people, are responsible for making our laws and deciding which international laws we will adhere to.

We are also responsible for this boy's life. Let's do what's right!

DAVID R. FLEISHER, MD

Clinical Professor of Pediatrics

UCLA

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