ERRC Letter to the Military Prosecutor of Romania General of Brigade Samoila Joarza

04 July 1996

Dear General Joarza,

The European Roma Rights Center is an independent international human rights organisation defending the rights of the Roma. On the morning of May 9 1996, Mircea-Muresul Mosor, a 26-year-old Rom from Comani, was shot and killed by police officer Tudor Stoian, chief of the police in Valcele. According to our information, the case (dossier nr. 585/P/1996) has been investigated by Capt. Tudor Marin and was recently taken over by First Prosecutor Col. Slavoiu at the Military Prosecutor's Office in Bucharest.

The ERRC's investigations revealed serious inconsistencies between the statements made by the police, the statement of the doctor and the family of the victim concerning the circumstances under which Mircea-Muresul Mosor was killed. We are writing you to call your attention to these inconsistencies, and to urge you to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.

The County Police Inspectorate in the city of Slatina issued a communiqué about the incident on May 16 1996 (Nr. C/3158). According to the communiqué, signed by Chief Police Inspector Colonel Bujor Florescu, four policemen were driven in a car by driver Paul Dina near the river Olt in Maruntei commune on the morning of May 9 1996. The policemen were: Plut. adj. Tudor Stoian, chief of the police in Valcele commune, Serg. maj. Gheorghe Bodea, deputy chief of the Valcele police, Plut. Ilie Gherghe, chief of the police in Maruntei commune, and Plut. Tudor Minciuna, deputy chief of the Maruntei police. They passed by a horse-drawn wagon with two Roma riding in it, to whom they made several signs to stop. The two men ignored their signals and continued. After a while, chased by the police car, they abandoned the wagon to escape on foot. The car caught up to them, and Plut. adj. Tudor Stoian jumped out of it. A fight followed. One of the Roma hit Plut. adj. Stoian with his fist, and the other, Mr. Mosor, grabbed a wooden stick. Plut. adj. Stoian, standing on his knees holding down the other Rom, warned Mr. Mosor not to approach, pulled out his gun and fired a warning shot. When Mr. Mosor lifted the stick and was about to hit Plut. adj. Stoian, Plut. adj. Stoian shot at him. Mr. Mosor was then transported to the hospital in Draganesti-Olt, where he died.

The above communiqué leaves at least two major questions unanswered:
(1) What were the other three police officers doing during the incident?
(2) What happened to the other Rom, who is not mentioned by name in the communiqué?

According to Dr. Dan Jijau at the hospital in Draganesti-Olt, Mr. Mosor was already dead when transported there. The hospital record nr. 479 tells about an unidentified dead body of a male who arrived in a police car at 8:20 am on May 9 1996. There was a bullet wound on his left thorax after a bullet that had entered his back, passed through his heart cavity and exited from his chest in the cardiac region. These facts were confirmed in the death certificate Nr. 181, issued by Dr. Coanda Mircea at the medico-legal laboratory of Olt county on May 10 1996, showed to the ERRC by the family of the victim, according to which Mircea-Muresul Mosor, born on November 8 1969, died on May 9 1996 at 7:00 am for the following causes of death: external and internal haemorrhage, bullet wound, and pulmonary thorax transfixion.

The medical statements showing that Mr. Mosor was shot from the back clearly contradict the police version of how the shooting of him happened.

Neither Plut. adj. Tudor Stoian in Valcele, nor Plut. Ilie Gherghe in Maruntei could tell the ERRC anything about the incident in which they, according to the police communiqué, participated, but sent the ERRC representative to the County Police Inspectorate in Slatina. According to Capt. Parvulescu, with whom the ERRC spoke at the County Police Inspectorate in Slatina, two policemen and four Roma were implicated in the incident. When the ERRC objected by referring to the communiqué signed by Col. Florescu (who was not there), he quickly corrected himself and changed the numbers of those involved in the incident. This time, the ERRC was given the following description of the incident: As soon as Plut. adj. Stoian had jumped out of the car, Mr. Mosor attacked him and hit him with a stick in the head, and he fell. Lying down on the ground with a wounded head, Plut. adj. Stoian shot at Mr. Mosor who was running away. In response to the ERRC's question about what the other three policemen were doing while Plut. adj. Stoian was seeking to catch the two Roma, Capt. Parvulescu explained that "they missed the whole incident because it was dark". The incident had, according to him, taken place at 5 am on May 9 1996. He also said that since Plut. adj. Stoian had jumped out of the car while it was still moving, there was a distance of at least 50 meters between him and the other three.

The ERRC finds Capt. Parvulescu's answers regarding the role of the other three police officers questionable. Moreover, the two versions given by the same institution (the county police) are strongly contradictory. Also, the description given in the written communiqué, which must be regarded as an official statement on the part of the police, is not consistent with the medical record, which clearly states that Mr. Mosor had been shot from the back. The ERRC therefore urges you to launch a new, impartial, and thorough investigation of the incident.

Regarding the other Rom, Capt. Parvulescu claimed that the police did not know anything about him and told the ERRC that they were searching for him. Meanwhile, the family of the victim told us that Mosor had been with his 28-year-old brother Ion Mirea when the incident leading to his death occurred. According to them, he was arrested by the police approximately one week after the incident (around May 16), and ever since then has been, as far as they know, in Jilava prison in Bucharest. The ERRC is very concerned about Ion Mirea's fate, and wants to know whether he is in prison, and if he is, on what grounds he is being detained in the Jilava prison in Bucharest.

In response to the ERRC's question about what the police were doing in Maruntei at 5:00 am on May 9 1996, Capt. Parvulescu said that they were returning from a raid. We have reliable information, confirmed by several sources, that the police in Draganesti-Olt, Valcele and Maruntei conduct systematic raids in the houses of the Roma in this region, usually during night hours or very early in the morning. The ERRC calls for an investigation on the police behaviour and wants to know on what legal grounds these allegedly systematic raids are conducted by the police forces in Valcele, Maruntei and Draganesti-Olt.

Dear General Joarza,

The ERRC urges you to undertake a thorough and impartial investigation of the above case of killing.

We would appreciate your prompt response to our letter.

Hoping that appropriate measures will be taken,

Yours sincerely,

Veronika Szente
European Roma Rights Center


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