Communist torturer Ion Ficior dies in prison aged 90

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90-year-old Ion Ficior, sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the communist regime, has died in prison on Wednesday. He died in the hospital of Jilava penitentiary.

Fomer commander of Periprava work camp during the communist ruling, Ion Ficior was charged for the death of over 103 political prisoners, during 1958 and 1963, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in March 2017.

In a first court, one year ago, he was also sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

Ion Ficior was sent to court in August 2014 under the charge of crimes against humanity in a file initiated following a complaint filed by the Institute for Investigation of Communism Crimes.

Ficior was accused that he had introduced and coordinated a repressive, abusive and inhuman detention regime against political prisoners during 1958-1963 while he was running the camp of Periprava.

Investigators argued that documents revealed that during Ficior’s term as head of the camp, 103 prisoners had died and all of them were part of the anti-revolutionist community.

Prosecutors also invoked evidence that the inmates from Periprava were completely isolated from their families and any other persons, from the outer world in general. They had to suffer of precarious detention conditions, unbearable cold and physical correction for any minor errors. The food was extremely scarce, with the prisoners being permanently starved and thirsted. They had no access to medicines.

Prosecutors initially asked for a 25-year sentence, for he has over 65, although they state that a life sentence would be appropriate in his case considering the charges.

Another communist torturer, former commander of the communist penitentiary in Râmnicu Sărat, Alexandru Vișinescu, was also sentenced to 20 years in prison in February 2016 in a final ruling given by the High Court of Cassation and Justice. He was charged with crimes against humanity related to abuses against political prisoners. Prosecutors said that 12 political inmates had died in prison while Vișinescu was commander. He was the first Romanian penitentiary commander during communism prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Visinescu is still alive, he is 93 years old.

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