IICCMER salutes the historical decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office and announces the intensification of the program for the identification of the communist criminalsBucharest, September 3rd, 2013 – Following the announcement made by the General Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice regarding the initiation of the criminal proceedings against former commander of Râmnicu Sărat prison, Alexandru Vişinescu, for the crime of genocide, the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exiles salutes this historical decision and emphasizes that it will continue to channel its efforts towards the identification of the persons responsible for committing political crimes and abuses during the communist period.
IICCMER received with confidence the announcement of the Public Ministry regarding the initiation of the criminal proceedings against former commander of Râmnicu Sărat prison, lieutenant-colonel (r) Alexandru Vișinescu, for crimes of genocide. In this sense, the Executive President of IICCMER, Andrei Muraru, said:
“I would like to thank the management of the General Prosecutor’s Office, who made considerable efforts for this difficult investigation to begin and, as a consequence, after only three weeks, the criminal proceedings were initiated. The effectiveness of the Public Ministry demonstrates its availability to solve issues related to the political crimes committed during 1945-1989. Across the whole period of the investigations, IICCMER offered support to the legal bodies and I can state without exaggeration that the relation between the Institute and the Public Ministry has proved to be impeccable”.
On July 30th, 2013, IICCMER brought to the attention of the General Prosecutor’s Office the activity of lt.-col. (r.) Alexandru Vişinescu while occupying the position of commander at the Râmnicu Sărat prison during 1956–1963. Hundreds of archive documents and testimonies were attached to the criminal complaint made by IICCMER. The evidence clearly indicated the fact that the political prisoners incarcerated at Râmnicu Sărat were subjected to an extermination regime, which for some of them resulted in death. The regime offered no possibility for survival on the long run.
The evidence administered by IICCMER show that Alexandru Vișinescu is legally responsible for the deaths which occurred. Thus, as prison commander, he was directly responsible of the “prisoners’ life”, as it was stated in the GDP (General Direction of Penitentiaries) functioning regulations, which means that he organized or at least tolerated the imprisonment conditions.
“It is a historical decision for IICCMER, but especially for the Romanian society. This is the first time that a former employee of the communist prison system is charged with genocide for the political crimes and abuses committed during the communist regime. The impeachment of the former commander of Râmnicu Sărat prison, Alexandru Vișinescu, represents a turning point in the investigation and condemnation of communist crimes”, Andrei Muraru said. “We have proven that the investigations carried out by the IICCMER experts are professional, that they reflect actual facts and contain clear evidence, which were confirmed by prosecutors”, he added.
Moreover, referring to the pensions of the former employees from the communist repressive system, the Executive President of IICCMER expressed the following:
“We hope that the Ministry of Justice will soon finalize the law regarding the suspension of the pensions for the persons accused of committing political crimes and abuses during the communist period. From this moment on, along with the initiation of the criminal proceedings, Alexandru Vișinescu can be the first person from the repressive system to have his special pension suspended.”
In April 2013, IICCMER announced that it had identified various deeds with possible criminal implications committed by 35 employees of the General Direction of Penitentiaries during 1950-1964. The investigated persons are aged 81 to 99 years old and live on Romanian territory. At the same time, IICCMER had entered into possession of the identification data, names and exact addresses of the mentioned persons.
According to its legal framework, the Institute is authorized to carry out scientific investigations regarding the crimes, abuses and human rights infringement during the whole communist regime and to alert the competent authorities.
For further information about the former prison from Râmnicu Sărat, please go to www.memorialulramnicusarat.ro or visit the online tour available at http://ramnicusarat.iiccr.ro/.
For other information, please contact Adriana Niculescu, e-mail: [email protected], tel. +40 21 316 7565.
The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) is a governmental body which studies, documents and supports public awareness of the history of communism in Romania, through research, education, publishing and museum projects. IICCMER analyzes the nature, purpose and effects of totalitarianism in Romania during 1945-1989, but also the memory of the Romanian exile.
The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) coordinates several unique project in recent history, such as archaeological campaigns for discovering the remains of the victims executed without trial by the Securitate, Ramnicu Sarat Memorial Museum – a former prison for political prisoners, the International Summer University on the study of Romanian communism, the first textbook on the history of Romanian communism, photo collections - the largest free online database with photos from communism, the MA program in the study Romanian communism, the Romanian exile archives, media projects of documentary films etc.
In time, IICCMER became a prestigious research center in Europe, through which Romania explores and acknowledges the communist past, clarifies its role in the twentieth-century European history and promotes democratic values within the modern society.