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Public Papers - 1989 - December

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Romania's Suppression of Political Demonstrations

1989-12-19

The United States condemns the brutal use of police force by the Romanian Government against protesters in Timisoara and other cities. According to various reports, dozens and perhaps hundreds were killed by Romanian security forces. The Romanian Government has sealed Romania's borders and imposed a blackout of news and information.

The demonstrations in Timisoara and elsewhere were a result of the systematic denial of human rights to the people of Romania, particularly to members of the Hungarian minority. The repressive measures undertaken by the Romanian Government are totally unjustified and stand in stark contrast to the positive changes taking place elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

The United States calls upon the Government of Romania to cease this brutal repression, open its borders, and respect the human rights commitments of the Helsinki Final Act. We further call on Romania to permit international observers to visit Timisoara and other cities where violence has been reported.

Note: Press Secretary Fitzwater read the statement at 11:04 a.m. during his daily press briefing.

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