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Panama/Colombia: Refugees: the right to escape from death

, Index number: AMR 44/006/1997

In recent months, hundreds of people from the northern Uraba area of the Colombian department of Choco and the south-west of the Uraba region of the department of Antioquia have been forced to flee their homes in the wake of extrajudicial executions, "disappearances" and other serious human rights violations committed by paramilitary groups, security forces and guerrilla forces operating in the region. Hundreds of refugees have escaped to Panama and Amnesty International is dismayed that the Panamanian authorities have failed to abide by their international obligations under the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees to guarantee them safe haven and have instead forcibly repatriated several hundred refugees to Colombia.

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