Message of Eduard Hellvig, Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service, on the occasion of the 35th commemoration since the death of dissident Gheorghe Ursu
17 November 2020
Today marks 35 years since the death of engineer Gheorghe Ursu, who died on November 17, 1985 due to the tortures he suffered during the interrogations run by former Securitatea. It is a good moment to remember and acknowledge the courage and altruism of all those who stood against the communist regime, whether they are known or anonymous, who rose up against an oppressive and criminal regime and thus made their contribution to the transformation of Romania into a country where individual liberties and democratic values have become rule.
Gheorghe Ursu (alias Babu) was born on July 1st, 1926 in Soroca (on the territory of Bessarabia), he graduated the Faculty of Civil Engineering in 1950 and he worked at the Institute for Design and Civil Engineering in Bucharest all his life. In 1950 he was expelled from the Romanian Communist Party on grounds of „friendship with reactionists”. He was turned in and arrested by Securitatea in December 1984, and during investigations he admitted he was the author of a couple of letters sent to Radio „Free Europe”, where he revealed the criminal measures ordered by Nicolae Ceaușescu in connection with the reconstruction works of the buildings that had been damaged during the March 1977 earthquake. He also accused the censorship suffered by the Romanian writers under the communist regime. In September 1985 he was again arrested, this time for „illegal possession of foreign currency”, and he underwent torture from former Securitatea in order to expose his „connections”.
The circumstances of his death are today the subject of a legal trial underway. The Romanian Intelligence Service is hoping and expressing its trust that justice will prevail. Without any doubts, I reaffirm the stand of the Romanian Intelligence Service on this matter and I explicitly reject and condemn the crimes and abuses made by former Securitatea. There is not and there will never be any sort of understanding or compatibility between the Romanian Intelligence Service and the former communist institution known as Securitatea, as there is no possible connection between the values of a democratic regime and any form of totalitarianism. The Romanian Intelligence Service maintains its strong decision to endorse the process the Romanian society has undergone in its endeavors to completely release itself from the darkness of the past.