Europe's top human rights court has ordered Romania to pay compensation to the families of 45 people who died during the country's 1989 anti-communist revolution.

The European Court of Human Rights said in its ruling Tuesday that the plaintiffs should each receive 15,000 euros ($17,300).

Romania has been criticized for failing to investigate the revolution, where 1,104 mainly unarmed demonstrators were shot dead as they protested against communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.

Many former communists retained their positions in the justice system and politics after communism ended, and there was reluctance to investigate what happened.

In October, the prosecutor general's office said the investigation into the revolution had been classified. However last week, a caretaker prosecutor general said the investigation would be reopened.