Bucharest marks 17 years since bloody Miners’ Riots

Bucharest marks 17 years since bloody Miners’ Riots

Military prosecutors set to complete the file by year’s end.

 It was seventeen years ago yesterday that the Miners’ Riot of June 13-15, 1990 stormed into Bucharest. The Association 21 Decembrie, together with the ‘Noii Golani” Initiative Group and the Association of the victims of the Miners’ Riots commemorated the event by laying wreaths and flowers in University Square, the site of the violence against the anti-communist meeting of in 1990. It was also there that a group of priests officiated a service and last evening a, rally-show took place.

The President of the Association of the Victims of the Miners’ Riots, Viorel Ene, speaking at a press conference on this commemoration, voiced his dissatisfaction towards the file on the events of June 1990 still being with the General Prosecutor’s Office waiting to be resolved. Over the past 17 years, the file was assigned to several civilian and military prosecutors, but went back to the Military Prosecutor’s Office Section of the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu says that, along with Prosecutor General Codruta Kovesi, made sure that the best measures have been taken towards resolving the case, mainly that the number of prosecutors working on the case doubled. Military prosecutors headed by magistrate Dan Voinea are concurrently working on completing the file sent back by the court, over the army’s intervention on June 13, 1990, but also on another dossier that includes scores of dignitaries in power in 1990: from Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman, to former interior minister Mihai Chitac and former defence counsellor and former head of the General Staff in the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI), Vasile Ionel. Dan Voinea is set that both the Miners’ Riot file and that of the 1989 Revolution to be completed through an indictment.

The PSVM President, Viorel Ene, said that he plans to lodge a penal complaint against former President Ion Iliescu, over the charge of genocide, linked to the events in June of 1990, “when, from documents and declarations, it results that slogans were chanted that incited to violence against Romanian Rroma and they have been attacked while in their homes,” although military prosecutors established that the main guilty parties in the death of the four people were top ranking officers in the MAI leadership at the time.

According to official data, a number of four persons lost their lives in the June 13-15, 1990 incidents, 18 were wounded and 746 people were beaten. The University was in 1990 the site of the most numerous acts of violence against the organisers of an anti-communist meeting. The Faculty of Geology was among the first targets of miners’ violence, who were called to allegedly restore order in the city. The laboratories were vandalised and the lecture halls were wrecked. The exodus of the youth abroad was one of the most serious consequences of miners’ actions. Tens of hundreds of youth left Romania for good. According to the National Institute of Statistics, most of those that left the country during 1990-1991 were engineers, architects, teachers and doctors. History manuals used in schools today contain very little information about the miners’ riots of the ‘90s. In the view of history teachers, as long as justice does not provide sure names and information, the events back then could neither be detailed or commented upon. History books only mention the phenomenon “University Square” and the toppling of Romania’s Government.

Sursa: Oana Chivu, Nine O’Clock, 14.06.2007

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