Communist labor camp commander accused of genocide in Romania, for deaths of 103 prisoners

A Romanian institute investigating crimes from the communist era has asked the general prosecutor to bring charges of genocide against the commander of a labor camp, saying he was responsible for 103 deaths.

Ion Ficior, 85, was commander of the Periprava labor camp from 1958 to 1963. In an interview with The Associated Press Ficior said only three or four people died under his command.

Andrei Muraru, head of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes, accused Ficior of being responsible for deaths from malnutrition, beatings, lack of medicine and from drinking water from the Danube River, which caused dysentery.

On Sept. 3, prosecutors charged another former prison commander, Alexandru Visinescu, with genocide.

Romania had about 500,000 former political prisoners, of whom about one-fifth died according to historians.