Trials of the Khmer Rouge leaders are not easy for Cambodia

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  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    - Trials of the Khmer Rouge leaders are not easy for Cambodia


    Aloke Sen

    The news that an elderly and frail woman was recently released from detention and excused from trial on ground of ill-health by a Cambodian court would hardly have been noticed in the Indian media. The news itself would be of little import but for the facts that the court — a hybrid body of national and international judges and jurists, officially christened the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia — was trying a handful of perpetrators of horrifying crimes committed under the murderous Khmer Rouge regime (1975-79) of Cambodia, and the grandmotherly Ieng Thirith, as minister for social action, was a key member in that government of Democratic Kampuchea. As wife of the then foreign minister, Ieng Sary, and sister-in-law to the Khmer Rouge chief, Pol Pot, her credentials as a star member of the regime were complete.

    She was found to be suffering from a degenerative illness, probably Alzheimer’s disease, making continuation of her trial pointless in the eyes of the court. At the age of 80, she is unlikely to recover and so seems to have escaped conviction and a possible life sentence. She left behind in the special jail her husband, the former foreign minister, the ideologue of the regime (Brother Number Two), Nuon Chea, and the then head of state, Khieu Samphan, very old men all, who would continue to face trial unless death intervenes. Given the extraordinary delays in first getting the court off the ground and then getting legal proceedings truly under way, that possibility remains strong. Only one person, Comrade Duch, who was in charge of the internal security of the regime, including the supervision of the infamous S-21 detention-cum-torture centre (now the genocide museum in the capital, Phnom Penh), has been convicted and sentenced so far.

    An account of the Khmer Rouge years reads like an impossible nightmare even allowing for the passage of more than three decades since Vietnamese troops put an end to it. The Khmer Rouge (the Red Khmers) was a byproduct of the communist movements of Indo-China and born on the sidelines of a greater tragedy, the Vietnam war. While its top leadership came from relatively elitist backgrounds, the foot-soldiers were largely supplied by the peasantry. The movement’s ideological goal was a land that would be a self-sufficient agrarian paradise, unencumbered by complications like education, religion, family, or material wealth. The whole country was to be turned into one giant collective farm where food would be grown and lives lived under the watchful and dictatorial eyes of committees. With people uprooted from cities and towns, transported to rural Cambodia and corralled into living this ‘classless’ agrarian utopia, disaster did not take long to strike. Food was already scarce by 1977.

    During Khmer Rouge rule, between 1.5-1.7 million people — or one-fifth of the country’s then population — were estimated to have perished from forced labour, starvation and medical neglect, or, quicker still, by mass executions fast filling up the killing fields. A novel experiment in social engineering thought up in a moment of madness by the Khmer Rouge, which chose to ignore Zhou Enlai’s wise counsel not to try to achieve communism in a single step, went horribly wrong. The movement then turned on itself in distrust and paranoia, and purges were repeatedly ordered to eliminate ‘enemies’ of the revolution. In the genocide museum, there is a photograph of disgraced Khmer Rouge leaders, shackled to their iron bedstead and marked for death, looking up to the camera with dazed incomprehension. The Khmer Rouge was only continuing that haunting legacy of violent movements in history where the hunters sometimes ended up being the hunted.

    Ieng Thirith was a self-assured, privileged figure in the middle of this mayhem. A student of English literature who studied at Sorbonne and married her husband in Paris, her contributions were in rolling out the widespread purges, and overseeing the youth movement — the fanatical young peasant cadre — that the party had identified as its ‘dictatorial instrument’, or the chosen tool of terror. Later, when tumultuous events in post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia largely passed Thirith and her husband by, they went back to living the good life, till the ECCC came into being and called their conduct of the distant past to account. It was no different for Nuon Chea or Khieu Samphan. One cannot but feel that had the United Nations-backed court been delayed by some more years, the unrepentant leaders of the Khmer Rouge would have escaped even the most token punishment in this life.

    *************

    And thereby hangs a problem of today’s Cambodia — lack of accountability. The main reason the hybrid court — partly funded by the UN and partly by donor countries, including India, on behalf of the Cambodian government — took so long to materialize was that the government of the day had far too many former Khmer Rouge members as its key ministers. They were not from top echelons, but still afraid that their past would catch up with them at the ECCC. So the government tried hard — and successfully — to keep the number of former leaders to be brought to trial to the very minimum. Since the court was, in effect, restricted to trying only a handful of persons of advanced age, questions were asked as to the wisdom of spending such enormous resources for such a limited exercise. One justification offered was that the process would unravel the mystery of why a regime so viciously turned on and devoured its own people. Truth, and from there reconciliation, were tantalizing prospects.

    Or were they? My own impression of the Cambodian people — one of the gentlest I have ever met anywhere — was that most might not have been interested in finding out that truth. It was a classic case of being in denial, only on an almost national scale. An expatriate social worker told me she always had a problem in getting people to confront their past, and thought it could be because of their pacific nature or their religious faith.

    I can think of more mundane explanations. Firstly it is the demographic distortion that the years of Khmer Rouge killings have wreaked. Today’s Cambodia is markedly youthful, with some 60 per cent of its 14 million population under the age of 24 or less, unborn when the Khmer Rouge had ruled. This dark chapter of Khmer history was also not taught in schools until some non-governmental organizations started an awareness campaign to mark the beginning of the ECCC’s work. So a huge section of the Cambodian society just did not know or care.

    More important is the seamless coexistence of the survivors and the ex-tormentors in society. This is not only between the national rulers and the ruled, but also — at the grassroots level — between neighbours in towns and villages. It is as if the people of Cambodia have entered into a strange pact of silence about their violent past. Fear of exposure or retribution plays a part. Unexpected prosperity for thousands of survivors who successfully fished in troubled waters after the Khmer Rouge’s departure is a persuasive argument for them not to rock the boat. For yet others, it is the comfort of stability and predictability of life now over the brutal uncertainties of the past. Altogether, a pragmatic closure to what could have been a dangerously divisive issue.

    Ieng Thirith may not be the only one to have escaped punishment. Death could free the others on trial soon enough unless the court is able to move faster. In that case, conviction of Duch would be the only showcase result of years of legal struggles at the ECCC. It is not often that one sees crime of such magnitude being met with punishment so meagre.

    The author is India’s former ambassador to Turkey, Cambodia and Myanmar

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120927/jsp/opinion/story_16016496.jsp#.UGPrCk3Mh8I
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Khmer Rouge leaders go on trial in Cambodia charged with genocide

    Three surviving members of the Khmer Rouge leadership have gone on trial at a UN-backed tribunal in Cambodia, accused of playing a key role in the death of at least 1.7 million people during one of the 20th century's most brutal regimes.

    In their opening statements, prosecutors emphasised the chaos and horror that overran Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge's brief, paranoid and bloody rule from 1975 to 1979.

    "Every Cambodian who was alive during this period was affected by the criminal system of oppression which these accused put in place. The death toll is staggering," Chea Leang, the Cambodian co-prosecutor, told a packed tribunal in the capital, Phnom Penh.

    Facing charges including crimes against humanity, genocide, religious persecution, homicide and torture, are three of the Khmer Rouge's top leaders under the supreme ruler, Pol Pot, who died in 1998. Nuon Chea, 85, was the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist and "Brother Number Two" to Pol Pot; Khieu Samphan, 80, served as president; and 86-year-old Ieng Sary was the regime's foreign minister. All showed little reaction as the charges were read out.

    Chea Leang gave an overview of the alleged offences, before more detailed testimony next month: "The forced evacuations of Cambodian cities, the enslavement of millions of people in forced labour camps, the smashing of hundreds of thousands of lives in notorious security centres and the killing fields, and the extermination of minorities, the countless deaths from disease, abuse and starvation – these crimes ordered and orchestrated by the accused were among the worst horrors inflicted on any nation in modern history."

    It is the first time that such senior regime figures have faced trial, and, given their ages, many presume they will die before the long and complex case is completed. A fourth defendant, 79-year-old Ieng Thirith, Ieng Sary's wife and the Khmer Rouge's minister for social affairs, was ruled unfit to stand trial last week because she has Alzheimer's disease.

    The joint tribunal, set up in 2006 after long negotiations between the UN and Cambodia's government, has thus far only completed one case. Kaing Guek Eav, known as Comrade Duch, was jailed for his role in the deaths of more than 14,000 people while running the notorious Tuol Sleng torture centre.

    Andrew Cayley, the international co-prosecutor, said the defendants' ages and the decades that have passed since the crimes should not tempt the court into compassion. "They murdered, tortured and terrorised their own people, they unleashed a radical social reformed process … to create a living nightmare for all Khmer. They took from the people everything that makes life worth living. Let us never for one moment forget in this trial that this is the tragic legacy that these elderly people represent."

    The Khmer Rouge in effect turned the entire country into a forced labour camp as they pursued their goal of a pure, agrarian socialist society, purging the middle classes and intellectuals in particular. Between 1.7 million and 2.2 million people – from a pre-regime population of about 7 million – were murdered or died from illness, overwork or starvation.

    The tribunal is intended to act in part as a reminder of the Khmer Rouge's crimes in a country in which the great majority of the population was born after its fall.

    Many of those attending the opening day of the case had their own appalling stories of life under the Khmer Rouge. Chim Phorn, 72, said that as chief of a commune in the country's north-west he had been forced to beat to death an unmarried young couple who became romantically involved. "I was ordered to kill the young couple because they fell in love without being married. If I did not kill them, my supervisor would have killed me, so to save my life, I had no choice but to kill them," he said.

    Chum Noeu, 62, who lost 13 relatives under the regime, said: "We want justice so that the dead can finally close their eyes. What is the truth behind all of torture and killings? What happened?"

    The defendants have shown no willingness so far to co-operate and are expected to deny any responsibility.

    Khmer Rouge leaders go on trial in Cambodia charged with genocide | World news | The Guardian
     
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    Khmer Rouge leader at Cambodian trial says they were not 'bad people'

    A former leader of Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge regime told a court he and his comrades were not "bad people," denying responsibility on Monday for the deaths of 1.7 million people during their 1970s rule and blaming Vietnam for any atrocities.

    Nuon Chea's defiant statements came as a U.N.-backed tribunal began questioning him and two other Khmer Rouge leaders in court for the first time.
    The long-awaited trial began late last month with opening statements, and this week the court is expected to focus on charges involving the forced movement of people and crimes against humanity.

    After the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, they began moving an estimated 1 million people – even hospital patients – from the capital into the countryside in an effort to create a communist agrarian utopia.

    After a court clerk read a background of the Khmer Rouge and the three defendants, Nuon Chea defended the notoriously brutal former movement, in which he was the No. 2 leader behind the late Pol Pot.

    "I don't want the next generation to misunderstand history. I don't want them to believe the Khmer Rouge are bad people, are criminal," Nuon Chea said. "Nothing is true about that."

    The 85-year-old communist movement's one-time chief ideologist instead said no Cambodian was responsible for atrocities during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-1979 reign, reiterating a claim that neighbouring Vietnam instead was responsible for mass killings. Vietnam, whose border suffered bloody attacks by Khmer Rouge soldiers, sponsored a resistance movement and invaded, toppling the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and installing a client regime.

    "These war crimes and crimes against humanity were not committed by the Cambodian people," Nuon Chea said. "It was the Vietnamese who killed Cambodians."
    The trio of defendants are accused of crimes against humanity, genocide, religious persecution, homicide and torture stemming from the group's 1975-79 reign of terror. All have denied wrongdoing.

    The other two include Khieu Samphan, an 80-year-old former head of state who also told the court in November he bore no responsibility for atrocities, and 86-year-old Ieng Sary, who has said he will not participate in the trial until a ruling is issued on a pardon he received in 1996. The tribunal previously ruled the pardon does not cover its indictment against him.

    There is concern that the accused could pass away before justice is achieved.

    The Khmer Rouge's supreme leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998 in Cambodia's jungles, and a fourth defendant, 79-year-old Ieng Thirith, was ruled unfit to stand trial last week because she has Alzheimer's disease. She is Ieng Sary's wife and served as the regime's minister for social affairs.
    The tribunal is seeking justice on behalf of the estimated quarter of Cambodia's population who died from executions, starvation, disease and overwork under the Khmer Rouge.

    "This is the first time the accused persons will be asked questions in a public hearing about their role in the events that led to the takeover of Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975 and about the policies of the Khmer Rouge," tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen told The Associated Press.

    Olsen said the initial testimony will take several days. After the accused have been questioned, witnesses and civil parties will be also called to testify, he said.
    So far the U.N.-backed tribunal, established in 2006, has tried just one case, convicting Kaing Guek Eav, the former head of the Khmer Rouge's notorious S-21 prison, last year and sentencing him to 35 years in prison for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other offences. His sentence was reduced to 19 years due to time served and other technicalities.

    That case was seen as much simpler than those currently before the court, in part because Kaing Guek Eav confessed to his crimes.
    Chum Mey, 80, one of only two survivors of the S-21 prison, said he doesn't believe the three defendants will tell the truth about what happened in the 1970s.
    "During last month's sessions we heard them say only that their regime was good and worked for the entire people," Chum Mey said.

    Khmer Rouge leader at Cambodian trial says they were not 'bad people' - Telegraph
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Khmer Rouge leader slams 'fairytale' accusations

    A top Khmer Rouge leader accused the prosecution at his historic war crimes trial on Wednesday of telling "fairytales", insisting that most Cambodian people had supported the brutal regime.

    But Khieu Samphan, 80, the Khmer Rouge head of state, also claimed that he was unaware of what was happening and had no real authority.
    During an hour-long statement on the third day of the trial at a specially built courthouse in Phnom Penh he said that most Cambodians supported the regime against the US-backed government of Lon Nol installed in 1970.

    Along with Nuon Chea, 85, “brother number two” to supreme leader Pol Pot, and Ieng Sary, 86, the regime’s foreign minister, he is denies charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes over the deaths of nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population in the “killing fields”.

    Under Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Maoist regime sought to establish an agrarian utopia between 1975 and 1979, clearing cities and forcing the population to work as slave labour in the fields. Money and religion were abolished.

    Those regarded as traitors were tortured until they confessed and were executed.

    Khieu Samphan is the only one of the defendants to respond directly to the cruelty detailed by prosecutors, who described the elderly trio as “common murderers of a whole generation of Cambodians” in opening statements on the first two days of the UN-backed trial.

    “Do you really think . . . that when I visited these worksites alone or accompanied by the king [Norodom Sihanouk], workers were being murdered in front of us with hoes or bullets in the backs of their necks?” Khieu Samphan told the court, addressing prosecutors.

    “You seem to want everybody to listen to your fairytales. I have the feeling that you really want my head on the block.” He also echoed the justification of Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge chief ideologue, who during his opening remarks on Tuesday said he believed the regime was defending the Cambodian state from enemies within and invaders without.

    “Regardless of whether you like or dislike it, the majority of Cambodian people gave their support to us for our opposition to the Lon Nol regime,” he said.

    The third defendant Ieng Sary, looking frail and sitting in a wheelchair, defied expectations by saying he would take part in the proceedings, though he disagreed with an earlier court ruling that he could be held to account despite an amnesty and pardon granted him in 1996.

    A fourth defendant, Ieng Thirith, 79, his wife, was ruled unfit to stand trial as she suffers from dementia.

    With the opening statements concluded the stage is set for the court to begin hearing evidence on December 5. A decision to hold smaller trials within the main trial will see the testimony focusing on the forced movement of people and related crimes against humanity.

    Khmer Rouge leader slams 'fairytale' accusations - Telegraph

    ****

    This is what they said in Dec 2011.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Khmer Rouge 'acted for sake of Cambodia and its people'

    A defiant Khmer Rouge leader accused of having the blood of 1.7 million on his hands told the UN-backed genocide tribunal that the notorious regime had acted for the sake of the country and its people.

    Nuon Chea, 85, the Communist regime's "brother number two" regarded as its chief ideologue, said that the litany of unspeakable atrocities outlined by prosecutors at the opening of the trial were a fabrication.

    "Whatever has been indicated in the opening statements is not true," he told the packed special courthouse in Phnom Penh's outskirts.
    "My position in the revolution was to serve the interest of the nation and the people."

    With two other senior surviving leaders of the 1970s regime – Khieu Samphan, 80, the nominal head of state, and Ieng Sary, 86, the foreign minister – he is accused of a catalogue of charges including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. All deny the allegations.

    A fourth defendant, Ieng Thirith, 79, wife of Ieng Sary and the regime's "First Lady" as minister for social affairs, would also have been in the court but was ruled unfit to stand trial last week as she is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

    The quartet served as the henchmen to "brother number one", Pol Pot, acting out their catastrophic revolution when they won power between 1975 and 1979, attempting to turn Cambodia into an ultra-Maoist agrarian utopia. Pol Pot died in the Cambodia jungles in 1998.
    Prosecutors painted a gruesome picture of how the regime cleared the cities in a vast forced movement of Cambodia people to work in the countryside where many died of starvation, overwork and medical neglect.

    But in their opening statements they also told of the cruelty that they said would be tied directly to the three men in the dock.

    They told of people – including Buddhist monks – forced to marry against their will, leading to rape; of a two-year-old baby killed when his head was smashed against a tree; and of executioners holding a throat slashing competition, their victims thrown into pits still twitching as their lives ebbed away.

    British lawyer Andrew Cayley, international co-prosecutor, told the tribunal that the regime's chief torturer, the only person so far convicted by the court, would be a key witness against the trio. King Guek Eav, also known as Comrade Duch, was sentenced to 35 years reduced to 19 last year.

    During the Khmer Rouge's unspeakable reign of terror almost a quarter of the Cambodian population – 1.7 million – died, or were tortured to death or killed, forced to make false confessions of being CIA agents before they were murdered in the "killing fields" of Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh's outskirts.
    Mr Cayley told the court that the three defendants could not lay all the blame for their actions on the dead supreme leader, Pol Pot, saying they were "thieves of time" and "common murderers" of whole generation of Cambodians.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...cted-for-sake-of-Cambodia-and-its-people.html


    *****************

    Said earlier last year.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Killing Fields of Cambodai

    The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Cambodian Civil War (1970-1975).

    Analysis of 20,000 mass grave sites by the DC-Cam Mapping Program and Yale University indicate at least 1,386,734 victims. Estimates of the total number of deaths resulting from Khmer Rouge policies, including disease and starvation, range from 1.7 to 2.5 million out of a population of around 8 million. In 1979, communist Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea and toppled the Khmer Rouge regime.

    Cambodian journalist Dith Pran coined the term "killing fields" after his escape from the regime. A 1984 film, The Killing Fields, tells the story of Dith Pran, played by another Cambodian survivor Haing S. Ngor, and his journey to escape the death camps.

    Genocide

    The Khmer Rouge regime arrested and eventually executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government or with foreign governments, as well as professionals and intellectuals. Ethnic Vietnamese, ethnic Thai, ethnic Chinese, ethnic Chams (Muslim Cambodians), Cambodian Christians, and the Buddhist monkhood were the demographic targets of persecution. As a result, Pol Pot is sometimes described as "the Hitler of Cambodia" and "a genocidal tyrant." Martin Shaw described the Cambodian genocide as "the purest genocide of the Cold War era."

    According to Michael Vickery, 750,000 people in Cambodia in a population of about 8 million died due to disease, overwork, and political repression. However, most scholars disregard his work because the number of victims of execution found in the mass graves is higher than his estimate for deaths from all causes during the rule of the Khmer Rouge and the civil war combined. The most widely accepted estimate, from scholar Ben Kiernan, is that about 1.7 million people were killed. Researcher Craig Etcheson of the Documentation Center of Cambodia suggests that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a "most likely" figure of 2.2 million. After 5 years of researching some 20,000 grave sites, he concludes that, "these mass graves contain the remains of 1,386,734 victims of execution." Execution is believed to have accounted for about 30–50% of the death toll. This would indicate 2.5 to 3 million deaths, but normal mortality over this period would have accounted for about 500,000 deaths—subtracting this from the total sum, we arrive at Etcheson's range for the number of "excess" deaths attributable to the Khmer Rouge regime. A UN investigation reported 2–3 million dead, while UNICEF estimated 3 million had been killed. Demographic analysis by Patrick Heuveline suggests that between 1.17 and 3.42 million Cambodians were killed, while Marek Sliwinski suggests that 1.8 million is a conservative figure. Even the Khmer Rouge acknowledged that 2 million had been killed—though they attributed those deaths to a subsequent Vietnamese invasion. By late 1979, UN and Red Cross officials were warning that another 2.25 million Cambodians faced death by starvation due to “the near destruction of Cambodian society under the regime of ousted Prime Minister Pol Pot,” who were saved by American and international aid after the Vietnamese invasion.

    Cambodia's ethnic minorities constituted 15 percent of the population in pre-Khmer Rouge era. Of the 400,000 Vietnamese who lived in Cambodia before 1975, some 150–300,000 were expelled by the previous Lon Nol regime. When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge came to power, there remained about 100–250,000 Vietnamese in the country. Almost all of them were repatriated by December 1975. Some argue that the Khmer Rouge had no intent to cause serious mental and physical harm to the Vietnamese during the repatriation process.

    The Chinese community (about 425,000 people in 1975) was reduced to 200,000 during the next four years. In the Khmer Rouge's Standing Committee, four members were of Chinese ancestry, two Vietnamese, and two Khmers. Some observers argue that this mixed composition makes it difficult to argue that there was an intent to kill off minorities. R.J. Rummel, an analyst of political killings, argues that there was a clear genocidal intent:

    Process

    The judicial process of the Khmer Rouge regime, for minor or political crimes, began with a warning from the Angkar, the government of Cambodia under the regime. People receiving more than two warnings were sent for "re-education," which meant near-certain death. People were often encouraged to confess to Angkar their "pre-revolutionary lifestyles and crimes" (which usually included some kind of free-market activity; having had contact with a foreign source, such as a U.S. missionary, international relief or government agency; or contact with any foreigner or with the outside world at all), being told that Angkar would forgive them and "wipe the slate clean." This meant being taken away to a place such as Tuol Sleng or Choeung Ek for torture and/or execution.

    Prosecution for crimes against humanity

    In 1997 the Cambodian government asked for the UN's assistance in setting up a genocide tribunal. It took nine years to agree the shape and structure of the court – a hybrid of Cambodian and international laws – before in 2006 the judges were sworn in. The investigating judges were presented with the names of five possible suspects by the prosecution on July 18, 2007.[21] On September 19, 2007 Nuon Chea, second in command of the Khmer Rouge and its most senior surviving member, was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. He will face Cambodian and foreign judges at the special genocide tribunal. On July 26, 2010 Kang Kek Iew (aka Comrade Duch), director of the S-21 prison camp, was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment. His sentence was reduced to 19 years, as he had already spent 11 years in prison. On February 2, 2012, his sentence was extended to life imprisonment by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

    The executed were buried in mass graves. In order to save ammunition, the executions were often carried out using poison, spades or sharpened bamboo sticks. In some cases the children and infants of adult victims were killed by having their heads bashed against the trunks of Chankiri trees. The rationale was "to stop them growing up and taking revenge for their parents' deaths."

    Some victims were required to dig their own graves; their weakness often meant that they were unable to dig very deep. The soldiers who carried out the executions were mostly young men or women from peasant families.

    Today

    The best known monument of the Killing Fields is at the village of Choeung Ek. Today, it is the site of a Buddhist memorial to the victims, and Tuol Sleng has a museum commemorating the genocide. The memorial park at Choeung Ek has been built around the mass graves of many thousands of victims, most of whom were executed after they had been transported from the S-21 Prison in Phnom Penh. The utmost respect is given to the victims of the massacres through signs and tribute sections throughout the park. Many dozens of mass graves are visible above ground, many which have not been excavated as of yet. Commonly, bones and clothing surface after heavy rainfalls due to the large number of bodies still buried in shallow mass graves. It is not uncommon to run across the bones or teeth of the victims scattered on the surface as one tours the memorial park. If these are found, visitors are asked to notify a memorial park officer or guide.

    A survivor of the genocide, Dara Duong, founded The Killing Fields Museum in Seattle, Washington, USA

    Killing Fields - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Images of the Killing Fields


    [​IMG]
    Choeung_Ek_commemorative stupa filled with skulls.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Read the first post and see the irony!
     
  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    So, Prince/King Sihanouk was always on the 'right' side in every twist and turn,

    Abdicated the 1st time to transform into a republic
    Sided with Khmer Rouge against Lon Nol
    Cooperated with Polpot / Khmer Rouge as orchestrated by China against Heng Samrin, then Hun Sen backed by Vietnamese
    Restored the kingdom after multi-party reconciliation
    Joined hands with Hun Sen against Khmer Rouge while the Rouged was eventually discarded by China


    He's always mentioned in great reverence as China's long-standing friend since my childhood, and now settles in Beijing after abdication.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Nrodom Sihanouk was known as the Red Prince.

    He is the real root of the problems that happened in Kampuchea.

    He was always playing political games.

    Positions he held included two terms as King, two as sovereign prince, one as president, two as prime minister, as well as numerous positions as leader of various governments-in-exile. He served as puppet head of state for the Khmer Rouge government in 1975-1976.

    During the Vietnamese invasion, he was sent to New York to speak against Vietnam before The United Nations. After his speech, he sought refuge in China

    He even managed US support. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Sihanouk's opposition forces drew limited military and financial support from the United States, which sought to assist his movement as part of the Reagan Doctrine effort to counter Soviet and Vietnamese involvement in Cambodia. One of the Reagan Doctrine's principal architects, the Heritage Foundation's Michael Johns, visited with Sihanouk's forces in Cambodia in 1987, and returned to Washington urging expanded U.S. support for the KPLNF and Sihanouk's resistance forces as a third alternative to both the Vietnamese-installed and supported Cambodian government and the Khmer Rouge, which also was resisting the government
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012

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