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Romania marks 30 years since 1989 Revolution

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Romania marks 30 years since 1989 Revolution
Copyright  AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru   -   Vadim Ghirda
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Romania marked the 30 years since the Romanian Revolution with several events on Sunday.

Religious services, military ceremonies, and exhibitions were organised to remember one of the most important days of the 1989 Revolution.

On December 22, 1989, dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was forced out of power, following a week of protests, bloody repression at in the western Romanian town of Timisoara and a night of slaughter in Bucharest, during which the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Communist Party surrounded by tens of thousands of demonstrators.

The anti-communist uprising which started in Timisoara on December 16, 1989, spreading to Bucharest on December 21, 1989.

On December 22, 1989, amid riots and Ceausescu and his wife tried to escape the city, only to be captured and put on trial days later. They were convicted of genocide and abuse of power, sentenced to death and promptly executed on Christmas Day, 1989.

The revolution left more than 1,000 people dead and ended Ceausescu's rule.

Three decades after the Revolution, those who died to make it possible were being remembered in Romania on Sunday.

Military and religious ceremonies took place in Bucharest at the Memorial of Rebirth and at the Shrine of the Fallen Heroes at the TVR headquarters.

The government is also commemorating these events at the Romanian Athenaeum with a ceremony called "30 years of freedom", represented by a photography exhibition dedicated to the heroes of the Romanian Revolution, followed by a symphonic music concert.

The Interior Minister, Marcel Vela, opened the building where the Central Committee of the Communist Party functioned for the public for the first time in history. The building now hosts the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The Interior Minister invited all those who wish to see the dictator's former office, the balcony where Ceausescu gave his last address, the basement of the secret police, and the arrest and isolation cells.

Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, said at the commemorations: "I often said that we need to find out the truth about December 1989. We want the guilty people to be brought to justice. We want justice.'" He quoted the words of Romanian poet Ana Blandiana: "When justice does not succeed in being a form of memory, memory alone can be a form of justice."

"To the voices that ask us to turn our backs to the truth of the Revolution, I will clearly answer: only guilty people want the forgetting of such crimes, only guilty people want to hide the truth", the Romanian Prime Minister, Ludovic Orban, said.

A few days before the commemorations, Iohannis described the 1989 Revolution as "the cornerstone of democracy in Romania".

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