Wednesday, October 12, 2011

AP: Romanian Anti-Communist Symbol Diaconescu Dies

Ion Diaconescu, one of Romania's anti-communist symbols who was imprisoned for 17 years by the communists for his political beliefs, has died. He was 94.

Former prime minister Victor Ciorbea said Diaconescu died late Tuesday. He had been recently treated for heart problems.

Diaconescu was released under an amnesty for political prisoners in 1964 and helped re-establish the center-right Peasants' Party after communism ended in 1989.

Diaconescu was speaker of parliament's chamber of deputies from 1996 to 2000 and was widely respected even by his political rivals.

Former President Ion Iliescu and current President Traian Basescu paid tribute to him Wednesday. Basescu said he would remain "a symbol of the fight against communism."

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