Amnesty International issued a strong call to the government of Argentina yesterday to "stop harassment of human rights organizations" in that country.
The Amnesty statement followed security police raids Friday in Buenos Aires on the offices of three local human rights groups. Officials of the groups said the police confiscated files concerning more than 3,000 persons who allegedly have been imprisoned or killed by the military government.
The groups are the Argentine League for the Rights of Man, the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights and the Commission of Families of Persons Missing for Political Reasons.
The official excuse for the raids, authorized by a federal court judge, remained unclear.Amnesty charged, however, that they "may have been intended to prevent or discourage" the human rights groups and relatives of missing persons from presenting their cases to an upcoming mission of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.
The Washington-based commission is scheduled to visit Argentina Sept. 6-20 in what will be the first fullscale human rights investigation in the country since the military ousted former president Isabel Peron in March 1976.
Local and international human rights organizations have charged that the rightist government has kidnaped and killed or secretly imprisoned from 5,000 to 20,000 Argentines during the past three years for political reasons.
The government repeatedly has denied this, but at various times has admitted holding as many as 3,000 persons in prison without officially being charged for suspected subversion.
The Associated Press reported from Buenos Aires:
Argentina's military government has invited a Soviet military mission to visit Argentina later this month, according to two local newspapers.
Government officials declined to comment on the reports published by La Nacion and Clarin.
The newspapers said the Soviet delegation would be led by Lt. Gen. Ivan Jacovich Bralko and identified him as deputy chief of military studies in the Defense Ministry.