BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Ion Ficior, an ex-prison commander in Romania who was incarcerated for the deaths of 103 political inmates while in charge of a communist-era labor camp, has died. He was 90.
Ficior died Wednesday at Jilava prison hospital, according to Bianca Filote, spokeswoman for the Institute for Investigating the Crimes of Communism.
He was serving a 20-year sentence there for crimes against humanity. Ficior, who was imprisoned in March 2017, denied wrongdoing and said he was merely following orders.
Ficior was commander at the Periprava labor camp from 1958 to 1963. During his trial, former detainees accused him of beatings, a lack of food and medicine, overwork and unheated cells.
Romania had about 500,000 political prisoners under the Communist regime, about one-fifth of whom died while in detention, according to historians.