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US Condemns Arrests of Panamanian Dissidents

November 28, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The State Department on Tuesday condemned the arrests by Panamanian authorities of two prominent dissident leaders, Guillermo Cochez and Francisco Artola, as they were returning home from a visit to the United States.

The department said in a statement that the arrests are the latest of many human rights violations perpetrated by the government of Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega in a ″desperate effort to cling to power.″

Cochez and Artola had been in the United States to attend the recent Organization of American States General Assembly.

″We condemn this outrageous act and call for their immediate release,″ the statement said.

The Panamanian government has not announced the arrests but the State Department said the detentions were seen by reliable observers.

6EST