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1990: Mineriad of 13-15 June

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The violent events of 13-15 June 1990 remained known in post-communist memory as "Mineriad of 13-15 June 1990" and refer to the repression, by law enforcement forces, with the help of miners, of protest rallies in the University Square of that period. The manifestations in the Square, claimed as anti-communist, were directed against the government led at the time by the National Salvation Front (FSN) and against President Ion Iliescu and had started since 22 April 1990, with the University Square Phenomenon.

The demonstrations in the Square, that began on 22 April 1990, were attended by intellectuals, students, pupils, clerks, but also cultural and public figures, the demonstrators' claims being grouped into a Declaration that was published/read on 26 April 1990. One of the main claims was Point 8 of the Timisoara Proclamation, which required that former communist activists and former Securitate (political police under communism, ed. n.) officers be denied the right to apply for three consecutive legislatures, according to "Romania 1989-2005. A chronological history" volume (Stan Stoica, Meronia Publishing House, 2005).

Between 22 April and 13 June, anti-communist and anti-government slogans were shouted at the demonstrations in the University Square, known as the University Square Phenomenon, anti-communist and anti-government slogans such as: "Freedom", "Timiosara", "Jos /Down with Iliescu", "Jos / Down with Communism", "Iliescu don't divide the country", "Timisoara Proclamation, law for all the country", "Call from Timisoara, Lord, wake up the country", "16-22, who shot at us" , "Iliescu do not forget, the youth does not want you", "Wake up, Romanians, you've got masters again", "Iliescu for us is Ceausescu II", "Who shot at us, 16-22", "Who shot at us after 22" etc., were part of the slogans shouted by protesters at that time, according to the Report of the Institute for the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) in 2010 published on the http://mineriade.iiccmer.ro/.

On 27 May 1990, some of the organizations that coordinated the protests (Independent Group for Democracy, League of Students) withdrew from the Square, while others remained, joining those on hunger strike (National Council for People's Alliance, Independent Movement, "16-21" December Association), according to the volume "History of Romania in data".

On the morning of June 13, the police intervened in force in the University Square, scattering the demonstrators and making arrests. Police later joined groups of workers in solidarity with the state authorities. Demonstrators, mostly students, erected barricades, managing to break the roadblocks of the law enforcement forces and occupy the Romanian Television (public television, ed. n.) building, an institution accused of severe distortion of truth and misinformation, notes the "Romania 1989-2005. A chronological history" (Stan Stoica, Meronia Publishing House, 2005).

The following days - 14 and 15 June - were marked by the arrival of the miners from southwestern Jiu Valley to Bucharest, whom President Ion Iliescu urged to occupy and clean the University Square. Demonstrators were beaten by miners who have also devastated the University, the Institute of Architecture, the headquarters of independent newspapers and magazines (e.g. Romania Libera, Dreptatea, Baricada) and of certain political opposition parties (PNL - National Liberal Party, PNTCD - Christian Democratic National Peasants Party). The law enforcement forces also resorted to arrests, while international public opinion and leaders from around the world urged the Bucharest leadership to end the repression in the University Square. Before the miners left Bucharest, Ion Iliescu thanked them for restoring order in the Capital, according to the volume "History of Romania in data", coordinated by Dinu C. Giurescu (Encyclopedic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2003).

On 15 June 1990, the Superior Military Committee of the Ministry of National Defence called for the disbandment of the Action Committee for the Democratization of the Army (CADA), citing the fact that it played the game of political forces aimed at destabilizing social-political life, the source added.

The government sitting of 16 June 1990, in which the violent events of 13-15 June were examined, ended with the dissemination of a press release in which they talked about the "state destabilization scenario", a borderline situation in which the president-elect and the government demanded armed intervention and population support.

The events of 13-15 June were also discussed in the Romanian Parliament, on the same day a parliamentary committee of inquiry was set up, shown in the volume "Romania. Data and facts. 1989-2009" of the AGERPRES National News Agency (2010).

On 18 June 1990, the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee was established to investigate the events of 13-15 June 1990. The Commission's work was completed in January 1991 and was finalised into "The anti-communist opposition report from the parliamentary committee to review the events of 13-15 June 1990 (report completed on 15 January 1991). Separate opinion", according to http://mineriade.iiccmer.ro/.

In September 2010, the "21 December 1989 Association", in partnership with the Institute for the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (ICCMER) published the "Report-Indictment on Fratricide of 13-15 June 1990", based on the documents in the Mineriad File, according to http://mineriade.iiccmer.ro/.

Military prosecutors of the Military Prosecutor's Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice completed, on 13 June 2017, the investigations in the "Mineriad of 13-15 June 1990" file and ordered the case to be referred to the court. Military prosecutors argue, in the indictment, that, "on 11 and 12 June 1990, the state authorities decided to launch a violent attack against demonstrators in the University Square of Bucharest, who were mainly campaigning for the adoption of Point 8 of the Timisoara Proclamation and were peacefully expressing their political opinions, contrary to those of the majority that formed the political power at the time. This attack was unlawfully involving forces of the Ministry of the Interior (MAI), the Ministry of National Defence (MApN), the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), as well as more than ten thousand miners and other workers from several areas of the country," the indictment states, according to https://www.mpublic.ro/.

Thus, on 13 June 2017, the following political figures and officials were put on trial for crimes against humanity: Ion Iliescu, at the time of the deeds President of the Provisional Council of National Union (CPUN) and President of Romania; Petre Roman, former Prime Minister; Gelu Voican-Voiculescu, former Deputy Prime Minister; Virgil Magureanu, former director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI); general (ret.) Mugurel Cristian Florescu, Deputy Prosecutor General and Chief of the Directorate of Military Prosecution Offices; Emil "Cico" Dumitrescu, at the time of the deeds member of the CPUN and head of the Directorate-General for Culture, Press and Sport of the Ministry of Interior; Cazimir Ionescu, Vice-President of the CPUN; Adrian Sarbu, chief of staff and adviser to the Prime Minister; Miron Cozma, President of the Executive Office of the Jiu Valley League of Free Mining Trade Unions; Matei Drella, union leader at the Barbateni Mining; Plaies Cornel Burlec, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Mines; general (ret.) Vasile Dobrinoiu, commander of the Internal Affairs Ministry's Military Officers' Higher School; Colonel (ret.) Petre Peter, Commander of the 0575 Magurele Military Unit belonging to the Ministry of the Interior; Alexandru Ghinescu, director of IMGB (Bucharest Heavy Machines Plant), according to the website of the Public Ministry, https://www.mpublic.ro/.

According to the June 2017 indictment, on 13-15 June, four people were shot to death, while another 1,388 were injured, the source said.

In May 2019, the High Court of Cassation and Justice ruled that the investigation into the 1990 Mineriad File must be redone, identifying the illegality of the indictment drawn up by the military prosecutors and ordered the return of the file to the Public Prosecutor's Office.



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