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Rights commission asks for probe in 1994 Dominican disappearance

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Opposition leader disappeared after 1994 arrest
  • Narciso Gonzalez Medina claimed there had been electoral fraud
  • He was seen in poor conditions after his arrest, rights panel said

(CNN) -- An Organization of American States human rights commission has asked a court to look into the 1994 disappearance of a Dominican Republic opposition leader shortly after he was taken into custody, the agency said Monday.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights filed an application last month with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to investigate what happened Narciso Gonzalez Medina , a university professor, columnist and opposition leader who claimed that electoral fraud had been committed in the 1994 presidential elections. State officials took him into custody on May 26, 1994.

"In the days after that, he was seen alive and in very poor conditions in various security offices under the custody of officials of the state," the rights commission said in a release Monday. "To date, his fate or whereabouts are unknown, and no serious, diligent, effective investigations have been carried out to clear up the facts, identify those responsible, and impose the appropriate punishment. Sixteen years after the events, Narciso Gonzalez Medina is still disappeared, and the acts remain unpunished."

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States. The commission consists of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing any country. They are elected by the OAS General Assembly.

The OAS consists of 35 nations in the Western Hemisphere. Cuba is not a member because it was ejected in the early 1960s, shortly after communist leader Fidel Castro came to power.