Romania marks 30 years since overthrow and execution of dictator Ceausescu

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Romania is commemorating the overthrow of Romanian communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu who was deposed and executed on Christmas Day 1989.

He was put on trial with his wife Elena following ten days of protests that led to the fall of Europe’s last communist dictatorship.

Ceausescu had been in office since 1965 and had been implementing grandiose plans for the reconstruction of Bucharest, even though the country was being pushed into deep debt, with people suffering chronic food shortages, electricity cuts and minimal heating.

Captured in the city of Targoviste close to Bucharest, Nicolae and his wife Elena were put on trial on 25 December 1989, by a military tribune for genocide and abuse of power.

The two-hour trial ended with both being found guilty on all counts and sentenced to death.

Shortly after, paratroopers shot them with service rifles in the courtyard right outside the building. Footage of the trial and the executed corpses of Ceausescu and his wife were shown on television.

This week, thousands of people marched in the Romanian capital Bucharest to remember those who lost their lives in the revolution 30 years ago.

The marchers observed a minute’s silence in Revolution Square then released hundreds of balloons, which organisers said represented the 1,142 people killed during the uprising.

President Klaus Iohannis and several ministers from his centre-right administration laid commemorative wreaths and lit candles in front of a monument to the victims.

 

Read more via RFE

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