Dosar (dossier) referitor la cazul lui Vasile Paraschiv (în română și franceză). 1977-1978.
Among the members of the Romanian exile community, Mihnea Berindei was one of the most active supporters of Romanian dissidents. In the course of his activities, and especially in his capacity as vice-president of the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania, he collected several detailed files concerning the major Romanian dissidents and opponents of the regime. These files were vital both for his strategies of collecting information and for the publicising of the dissidents’ persecution by the Romanian authorities in the Western media. One of the most prominent cases in which Berindei was heavily involved was that of the worker Vasile Paraschiv (1928–2011), who became a symbolic figure for the victims of repressive and punitive psychiatry in Romania. Berindei’s interest in Paraschiv’s case stemmed not only from his broader concern about issues relating to punitive psychiatry (illustrated by other detailed files on this subject preserved in his archive), but also from his genuine desire to help Paraschiv. Berindei and the recently exiled prominent Romanian psychiatrist Ion Vianu were instrumental in organising Paraschiv’s trip to France, during which the latter gave a number of interviews to Western media outlets and underwent an independent psychiatric assessment in order to prove his sanity. After Paraschiv’s return to Romania (despite the Securitate’s hopes that he would stay abroad), Berindei continued to monitor Paraschiv’s activities closely and pursued an active private correspondence with the dissident, which spanned the 1980s and went beyond 1989. The file preserved in Berindei’s archive contains several interesting pieces regarding Paraschiv’s dissent and his correspondence with Mihnea Berindei. The file comprises both the Romanian originals and the French translations of the most important documents. Besides a short biography of Paraschiv, it includes the declaration of Charles Durand, chairman of the Swiss Association Against Psychiatric Abuses for Political Purposes, condemning repressive psychiatric practices in the Soviet Bloc (focusing on Paraschiv) made at the International Psychiatric Congress in Honolulu (August 1977). The bulk of the file consists of several letters written by Paraschiv to prominent Romanian exiles and anti-regime activists (including Dumitru Țepeneag, Paul Goma, and the organisers of his French trip in 1978). The letters to Goma are the most substantial and interesting. Apparently, Paraschiv not only recounted in detail his experience of repression and expressed solidarity with Goma’s actions, but also annexed copies of official papers and letters he wrote to the authorities and the responses he received. The file also features several open letters written by Paraschiv to Ceaușescu and the party leadership throughout the 1970s, completing the image of his dissident activities up to 1977. Among other pieces in this file, the minutes of an interview given by Paraschiv to a commission of French specialists on 12 April 1978 concerning repressive psychiatric practices in Romania and several clippings from newspapers reflecting his case are of special interest. Finally, the file also includes a letter written by Paraschiv to Mihnea Berindei on 23 May 2007 about his upcoming trip to Paris. This file illustrates Mihnea Berindei’s crucial role in the support of Romanian dissent and, in particular, his lasting connection to Vasile Paraschiv.
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Source: Iași County Branch of the Romanian National Archives (SJAN)
Photo by Andrei Cusco
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- Cusco, Andrei