Hundreds of political prisoners, including many members of the armed forces, have been detained without trial over the past 10 years. Initially held outside any legal framework, those detained for long periods have been officially imprisoned on the basis of administrative detention orders issued under the Preventive Custody Law of 1982, several aspects of which are of concern to Amnesty International. Prisoners actually brought to court have been tried by special tribunals, the fairness of which is in question. Between 1983 and 1986 some 50 political prisoners were sentenced to death, in the most part in connection with unsuccessful coup attemps. At least 23 are known to have been executed. Torture and harsh prison conditions have also been reported.
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