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The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile

The Vișinescu Trial: Overview and Impact. A historic moment for Romania.

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Alexandru Vişinescu

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, the High Court of Cassation and Justice made the final ruling in the case of the former commander of the Râmnicu Sărat Penitentiary, Alexandru Vişinescu, and sentenced him to 20 years in prison for crimes against humanity.

On the 30th of July 2013, IICCMER asked the Public Prosecutor’s Office to initiate the criminal proceedings against the former commander of the Râmnicu Sărat prison for committing first degree murder. Vişinescu was sent to court on June 18, 2014, for crimes against humanity and sentenced on July 24, 2015 by the Bucharest Court of Appeal to 20 years in prison.

In the indictment the prosecutors showed that, during 1956-1963, Alexandru Vişinescu, as commander of the Râmnicu Sărat Penitentiary, committed systematic actions and inactions which resulted in the persecution of the political prisoners incarcerated at Râmnicu Sărat, who were deprived of their fundamental human rights or experienced a severe limitation of these rights.

The decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal was maintained through the definitive ruling of the High Court of Cassation and Justice of February 10, 2016. Alexandru Vișinescu was picked up by the police in the afternoon of that same day and took to the Rahova Penitentiary Hospital. It is for the first time that a former communist commander is definitively sentenced in Romania.

“The trial of communism is not synonym with Vişinescu’s trial. If that were the case, we would be experiencing a sinister prank and Vişinescu’s trial would stand as an alibi for the entire political and security system we wished to free ourselves from 27 years ago. Before a Vişinescu and a Ficior, there were ministers of interior, there was the PCR, the Central Committee. There were state organisms that conscientiously and knowingly ruled this repressive system. And not only in the 50s and 60s, but to the last day of the regime in 1989”, said the Executive President of IICCMER, Radu Preda.

In 2015, IICCMER also filed criminal complaints for other former employees of the communist prison system and awaits the initiation of trials in these cases.

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, please contact us at office@iiccmer.ro or by calling +40 21 316 7565.