The file of the Revolution is an immense defiance of Justice towards the victims of the Revolution, their families, the country. With the long shadow of Security hovering over them. A shadow still cast over Romania, more than 33 years after the fall of the communist regime. A shadow that we see or just intuit not only in this context.
The news of this early August was, or could only have been, that the Revolution File – which gives us a desolating uniqueness in the landscape of the former communist states in Europe, as the only country in which the regime change was done with blood and death -, reaches the Supreme Court. That exponents of the first post-December power, Ion Iliescu, who became president of Romania a few months later, together with Gelu Voican Voiculescu, former deputy prime minister at that time, and the former head of the Military Aviation, general (r) Iosif Rus, were sent back to court by the General Prosecutor’s Office, under the charge of crimes against humanity.
However, how many Romanians still believe in justice regarding this file sent to court – so, still far from a final sentence – more than 33 years after the date of the facts they refer to, More specifically, the shooting of over 1000 people after the date of December 22, 1989, so after the fall of the communist regime. How many still believe that this file – delayed, closed, reopened, and delayed, and closed, and reopened, for more than three decades – will receive a fair trial? In order for this case to be reopened – the prosecutors had closed it for the first time in 2009 -, a decision of the ECHR was needed, which established that, since it is about murder and crimes against humanity, therefore non-prescriptive facts, the investigation must be continued. Years followed when nothing was heard of the investigation. So that, in October 2015, the General Prosecutor’s Office decides, again, his classification. It took hundreds of complaints from people who have been seeking justice since December 1989, their justice or that of their parents or children killed then, supported in this endeavor by the president of the 21 December 1989 Association, Teodor Mărieș. It was again necessary to invoke ECHR legislation and public pressure for the file to be reopened, only in August 2016. In April 2019, the General Prosecutor’s Office sent him to the High Court of Cassation and Justice. In October 2020, the judge decided to return the file to the Military Section of the General Prosecutor’s Office, on the grounds that it had “hidden flaws” and demanded the restoration of a substantial part of the indictment. Here is that on August 3, 2022, the General Prosecutor’s Office announces the sending of the file to the High Court of Cassation and Justice. So, a huge mockery of Justice, with the long shadow of the Security hovering as if over this file, in which obstacles were systematically placed to prevent the truth from being brought to light, a truth that also aims at the involvement of this institution in the bloody events of December 1989 It is a shadow still hanging over Romania, more than 33 years after the fall of the communist regime, which we see or just intuit not only in this context.
We see the shadow of the Security regarding the obstacles placed on the National Council for the Study of the Security Archives. The institution was established only ten years after the fall of communism, and the archives of the former Security were opened and handed over, incomplete, with “cleaned” files and without file, only after 15 years. A first destruction of files was ordered immediately after the escape of the dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, on December 22, 1989, when it was ordered to destroy all the network files from the county offices of the Security, probably tens of thousands – the proof is in the destruction minutes of files in the CNSAS archive.
We see the shadow of the Security on the post-communist picture in which collaborators of the Security and even former Security officers appear bearing revolutionary certificates, with all the benefits that flow from this. Until last year, from CNSAS, 384 actions regarding revolutionaries for which it was requested to establish the quality of collaborator and 22 actions concerning Security and Militia officers had gone to court.
We see the shadow of the Security, reading in the CNSAS reports about magistrates exposed in conspiracies, and this after years and years after the fall of the communist regime, as former collaborators and even workers of the Security. There are over 70, but that’s not necessarily the real total. In addition, if it is proven that they are employees of the Security, nothing happens to them, because an absurd law declares them incompatible only if they collaborated with the former Security…
We see the shadow of Security in the failure of lustration.
We see the shadow of Security hovering over the Ursu file, who does not have a sentence more than 36 years after the assassination by this institution of the dissident Gheorghe Ursu, a file in which his son, Andrei Ursu, is trying to bring to light the truth, to get the Justice to recognize the involvement of the Security in this crime. And for this he resorted to hunger strike twice. See the shadow of the Security in the obstacles placed over time on this file: episodes of deliberate ignoring of evidence, destruction of documents, procrastination of the investigation, exoneration of the guilty, the involvement in the investigation of the very prosecutor who in 1985 led the Bucharest Prosecutor’s Office, who closed the case at the time, Vasile Manea Drăgulin, who became the general prosecutor of Romania after 1990. See the shadow of the Security cast over the first sentence as well: in the judge’s opinion, Gheorghe Ursu was not a dissident and, moreover, after 1965 in Romania it was no longer possible to talk about crimes against humanity, so that the former security officers Marian Pârvulescu and Vasile Hodiş, accused of crimes against humanity, had their judicial classification changed to inhumane treatment and then acquitted…
How did we get here? A summary, eloquent answer I found in a interview of Germina Nagâţ, CNSAS researcher, who led, for 17 years, the Directorate of Investigations of this institution and who has the experience of thousands of hours spent researching the archives of the former Security: “The democratic Romanian state came into the world assisted by security guards right in the delivery room. And while he grew up, they retreated, organized themselves and put him under their “protection”. (…) Freedom began with the erasure of traces and the rewriting of history, then it continued with the disguise of the security guards and the communist politrucs in the pillars of our political and economic life”.
Article also published in the Fifth Power.