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Denial of Rights Continues in Paraguay but Torture has Ended, Monitoring Group Says

August 24, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Paraguayan government continues to engage in severe human rights abuses but has ended the torture of political prisoners, according to a study released Saturday.

Americas Watch, a human rights group based in New York, said U.S. pressure on the government of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner "undoubtedly has played a significant role in curbing abuses."

An Americas Watch delegation which visited Paraguay found that the chief human rights problem is arbitrary arrests. It reported that 115 political, labor and peasant leaders were arrested and held for periods ranging from a few days to several weeks during a yearlong period ending in March.

"Prisoners were . . . detained without warrants, no judge was notified, and they were never informed of the charges against them," the report said.

On the other hand, the report said, the number of long-term political prisoners has dropped from 33 to four, and the practice of hanging them by their wrists had been stopped.

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