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Prosecutors charge 2 with crimes against humanity

April 23, 2014

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Prosecutors will charge two former prison commanders with crimes against humanity for the deaths of political prisoners at lockups they commanded when Romania was a Communist country.

Alexandru Visinescu, commander of the Ramnicu Sarat prison from 1956 to 1963, was initially charged with genocide but Romania modified its criminal laws this year.

The court informed him Wednesday of the new charges for his alleged role in the deaths of six prisoners. Another prison guard Ion Ficior is expected to be informed of the new charge on Thursday.

Ficior is accused of causing the deaths of 103 political prisoners when he ran the Periprava labor camp in 1958-1963. Both men have pleaded innocent. No date has been set for the trials.

About 500,000 Romanians were condemned as political prisoners in the 1950s as the nation’s Communist government sought to crush all dissent.

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