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Stefan, Gabriela

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Gândul - Romania | 08/12/2008

Securitate collaboraters go unpunished

A judge in Romania has classified the former activities of a party leader in the Romanian Securitate, or secret police, as not warranting punishment, arguing that in a totalitarian state the man could not have acted otherwise. Gabriela Stefan criticises the judgement: "This sentence creates a dangerous precedent. ... Certainly, this does not mean that all judges would decide the same way in similar cases, but without doubt this judgement establishes a position that cannot just be ignored. ... In a broader sense it means that no run-of-the-mill informers and no one who abused their power or their office in the communist era can be sanctioned legally or morally, on the grounds that that's just how things were back then. ... But I know that hundreds if not thousands of people suffered because of the secret police and its informers. Some of the victims were left jobless, homeless, without a family and ultimately without a life. Some are still alive. For this reason it seems to me that this judgement is an insult both to history and to common sense."

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