From BBC World News America (July 1, 2009) -
Rwanda [east-central Africa] is being urged to drop a draft law which would forcibly sterilise people who are mentally disabled.
US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch said the proposed law was deeply flawed and violated the government's obligation to uphold human rights.
It also requires people to have an HIV test before getting married.
"Provisions in the current bill that increase stigma, rely on coercion and deny... reproductive rights should be removed," HRW's Joe Amon said.
Forced sterilisation is regarded as a crime against humanity by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Rwanda has successfully managed to lower the spread of Aids in recent years thanks to its HIV campaign.
Figures from the World Bank in 2007 put the prevalence of Aids in the country at about 3%, down from 11% in 2000.
"While Rwanda has made notable progress in fighting stigma and responding to the Aids epidemic, and has pledged to advance the rights of persons with disability, forced sterilisation and mandatory HIV testing do not contribute to those goals," said Mr Amon, the health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch.
"These elements of the bill undermine reproductive health goals and undo decades of work to ensure respect for reproductive rights."