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Ex-prison chief jailed for 20 years over 103 deaths

A Romanian court has sentenced an 87-year-old man to 20 years in jail for the deaths of 103 political prisoners while he was commander of a communist-era labour camp.

The Bucharest court had heard Ion Ficior was commander at the Periprava labour camp from 1958 to 1963. He has 10 days to appeal his sentence.

Former detainees accused Ficior of beatings, a lack of food and medicine and unheated cells. He denied any wrongdoing and claimed he was merely following orders.

Last month, in the first case of its kind in Romania, a court upheld a 20-year sentence against another former commander, Alexandru Visinescu, for the abuse and deaths of prisoners at the Ramnicu Sarat prison, which he ran from 1956 to 1963.

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