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Romania: Protesters Demand Secret-Police Files Be Opened

Bucharest, 11 March 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Some 3,000 protesters gathered today in Bucharest to demand that the government open the files of the communist-era secret police, the Securitate. The protesters joined hands to form a chain around the vast palace of late Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the building that now houses parliament.

The demonstrators, including self-described victims of the former regime, said Romanians have a right to know the identities of the Securitate's former agents and informers. Many protesters expressed anger that former Securitate agents continue to hold high positions in government.

Legislation was passed in 1999 allowing for the secret-police files to be opened, but the measures have not been implemented because of resistance from the current intelligence service and some members of government.