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UA 316/92 - Ecuador: fear of refoulement: Oscar Amaris

, Index number: AMR 28/004/1992

AI is concerned about the possible refoulement (forcible return) of Oscar Amaris, a Colombian political refugee, from Ecuador to Colombia. He and another Colombian citizen were reportedly detained on 7 October 1992; the other Colombian was released after 24 hours. AI is appealing to the authorities not to return Oscar Amaris to Colombia, where he may be at risk of serious human rights violations.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 28/04/92
Distr: UA/SC
Please bring this action to the attention of the person responsible for refugee
coordination in your section.
UA 316/92 Fear of refoulement 12 October 1992
ECUADOR: Oscar AMARIS, a Colombian
Amnesty International is concerned about the possible refoulement (forcible
return) of Oscar Amaris, a Colombian political refugee, living in Quito, the
capital.
According to reports, on 7 October 1992 the security forces detained Oscar
Amaris and another Colombian citizen, who was staying with him, at his home.
The other Colombian citizen was released after 24 hours.
Oscar Amaris reportedly sought political asylum in Ecuador. Amnesty
International believes that if returned to Colombia, he may run the risk of
serious human rights violations.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Amnesty International's information on Colombia indicates that there is a
pattern of large scale human rights abuses against political opponents such
as torture, extrajudicial executions and "disappearances".
Ecuador has signed the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. Article 33 of the
Convention obliges states not to return refugees to a country where they would
be at risk of serious human rights violations.
Ecuador has also ratified the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Article 3.1 states that:
"No state party shall expel, return ("refouler"), or extradite a person
to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing
that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture".
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes and airmail letters either
in spanish, english or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the detention of Oscar Amaris who may face forcible
return to Colombia;
- noting that the Ecuadorian government is obliged under international law
to refrain from returning any person to a country where they risk being subjected
to human rights violations;
- urging that Oscar Amaris be given immediate access to representatives of
the United Nations High Commission for Refugees;
- urging that Oscar Amaris be given access to an independent lawyer, a doctor
and relatives.
page 2 of UA 316/92
APPEALS TO:
1) President of Ecuador
Dr. Sixto Durán Ballen
Presidente de la República
del Ecuador
Palacio de Gobierno
García Moreno 1043
Quito
ECUADOR
Telegrams: Presidente Ballen, Quito, Ecuador
Telexes: 22375/22201 prerep ed
Salutation: Sr. Presidente/ Dear President
2) Minister of the Interior and Police
Sr. Roberto Dunn Barreiro
Ministro de Gobierno y Policía
Ministerio de Gobierno y Policía
Espejo y Benalcázar
Quito
ECUADOR
Telegrams: Ministro Gobierno Barreiro, Quito, Ecuador
Telexes: 22354 mingob ed
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/ Dear Minister
3) Minister of Foreign Relations
Dr. Diego Ruben Paredes Peña
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
10 de Agosto y Carrión
Quito
ECUADOR
Telegrams: Ministro Relaciones Exteriores Peña, Quito, Ecuador
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights Organization
Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU)
Apartado 720 A
Quito
Ecuador
and to diplomatic representatives of Ecuador accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 23 November 1992.

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