A Cuban exile group in Miami said Thursday that the Bahamian government deported 24 refugees who had been detained in that Caribbean country back to Cuba, many of whom had already been granted asylum by Panama.

"It's a deceitful act and (has) the intention of hiding the torture of human beings. The prime minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie, repatriated in a surprising way 24 Cubans to Cuba, many of whom had already received a visa to travel to Panama," the Democracy Movement said in a communique.

The organization accused Christie of "going back on his word with the intention of hiding (the fact) that the detainees had been seriously tortured by a group of guards" at the Immigrant Detention Center in Nassau.

Last Sunday, the Panamanian government had granted asylum to 19 undocumented immigrants being held in the abovementioned center, after receiving a request to do so from the Democracy Movement.

The announcement coincided with the commitment by the Bahamian government to end the mistreatment of undocumented immigrants who arrive in the Caribbean nation, most of whom are Cubans.

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) had thanked the Panamanian government for its diligence in granting asylum to the 19 Cubans who were being detained in the Bahamas, through which many undocumented migrants pass en route to the United States. EFE