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The World

The government controlled by Panamanian strongman Manuel A. Noriega is holding at least 89 political prisoners including opposition party officials, two opposition leaders charged. “The prisoners are nothing more than hostages,” Guillermo Endara, a former opposition presidential candidate, said. Former vice presidential candidate Ricardo Arias Calderon added: “For most (of the 89) there has been no reply to . . . judicial petitions, showing how deeply the judiciary is subordinated to the military dictatorship.” Many were accused of threatening the security of the state and were sentenced to a year in jail on the night they were seized, he said. There was no comment from the government.


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