Former Communist prison warden gets 20 years in jail

Former Communist prison warden gets 20 years in jail

Alexandru Visinescu, 90 years of age, a former warden of the Ramnicu Sarat penitentiary, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday, in a final decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (Romania’s Supreme Court) for crimes against humanity in connection with the abuse upon political prisoners.

The high court has rejected all the appeals in the case, including the defendant’s.

On 24 July 2015, the Bucharest Court of Appeals has sentenced Alexandru Visinescu to 20 years in prison, military degradation, and damage compensations to three members of his victims’ families; the Public Finances Ministry, the Internal Affairs Ministry and the National Administration of Penitentiaries were deemed solidary to compensations worth 300,000 euros.

Prosecutors proved that Visinescu, in his capacity of warden from 1956 to 1963, systematically abused inmates, by denying them medical care, hospitalization and heating, by imposing starvation and random punishment, beating them and ignoring their petitions, with the intention to physically exterminate them.

“The regime imposed did not assure in any way minimum long-term survival, considering that most of the times the sentences were longer than 10 years. The inmate deaths thus occurred following a slow, yet efficient process through which they were physically and mentally tortured,” the prosecutors said.

138 detainees of the Ramnicu Sarat Penitentiary under Visinescu’s tenure have been identified to date. More…