Romanian anti-communist dissident Doina Cornea dies

Doina Cornea, a Romanian anti-communist dissident who was beaten and arrested after criticizing the destruction of Romanian villages and churches during the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, has died. She was 88.

Her son, Leontin Juhasz, said Cornea died overnight Thursday at her home in the northwestern city of Cluj after a long illness.

Cornea, a French professor at Cluj's Babes Bolyai University, sent her first letter protesting the communist regime to Radio Free Europe in 1982 and went on to send dozens of similar letters, attracting the attention of the Securitate secret police.

In 1987 she was arrested after releasing manifestos in support of a workers' uprising in the city of Brasov.

She was later put under house arrest, and was freed during the December 1989 revolution when Ceausescu was toppled and executed.