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U.S. Says Repression Increasing in Panama

May 11, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The State Department said Wednesday Panamanian authorities have engaged in beatings and threats of sexual abuses against political detainees as part of a pattern of increasing intimidation in recent weeks.

Deputy spokesman Phyllis Oakley said the United States condemns all human rights violations being perpetrated by the regime of Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega.

She had no comment on the progress of U.S. efforts to negotiate Noriega’s departure as head of Panama’s Defense Forces.

Other officials, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said department deputy assistant secretary Michael Kozak has been in Panama for more than a week for talks on a transition to democratic rule in Panama.

They refused to say whether Kozak has made any headway.

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