Cambodia


    Top Khmer Rouge leader denies genocide at close of UN-backed trial
    23.06.17
    AFP

    One of the top surviving leaders of Cambodia's ruthless Khmer Rouge regime on Friday denied genocide charges and rejected the label of "murderer" in forceful closing remarks at a lengthy UN-backed trial. The Khmer Rouge's former head of state, 85-year-old Khieu Samphan, spoke angrily to the Phnom Penh chamber trying him and another senior leader, 90-year-old Nuon Chea, for the regime's killing of ethnic Vietnamese and Muslim minorities, forced marriage and rape. The men are the two most senior living members of the radical Maoist group that seized control of Cambodia in 1975 and...

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    Court upholds life sentences for Khmer Rouge leaders
    23.11.16
    AFP

    Cambodia's UN-backed court upheld life sentences for two top former Khmer Rouge leaders on Wednesday for crimes against humanity, in a verdict welcomed by survivors of the brutal regime. "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, 90, and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, 85, were the first top leaders to be jailed in 2014 from a regime responsible for the deaths of up to two million Cambodians from 1975-1979. They appealed their convictions, accusing the court of a string of errors and the judges of failing to remain impartial due to their personal experiences under the regime. In a lengthy ruling...

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    Is “ecocide” the new crime against humanity?
    07.11.16
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and associate professor at Neuchâtel University

    On December 7, 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 was 45,000 km from Earth. The three astronauts had the sun behind them and were heading for the Moon, where they were going to land. It was then they took the first photo of our planet. Earth looks like a blue marble that children play with. And so the first image of Earth was called the Blue Marble. This iconic photo marks a turning point in the development of our ecological awareness. For the first time, the Earth appeared at the same time unique, beautiful, fragile and vulnerable, a tiny point in the infinite universe. Awareness has grown slowly...

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    Could Cambodia be test for new ICC move on land grabs?
    04.10.16
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo

    On September 15, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a policy document on case selection which included for the first time a focus on land-grabbing and environmental crimes in "peace" time. This comes after law firm Global Diligence asked the Prosecutor in 2014 to investigate land grabs in Cambodia as a crime against humanity. If the ICC takes up the case, this could not only serve as a precedent for other countries but send a warning to private investors on the way they do business in developing countries.  "The case involves massive land-grabbing and the...

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    Confronting darkness in Cambodia's Khmer Rouge stronghold
    02.05.16
    AFP

    Standing next to cages that once housed political prisoners, former Khmer Rouge foot soldier Tho Lon gets a surprisingly sympathetic hearing from a clutch of students, despite his work for a regime that wiped out a quarter of Cambodia's population. "All my life I've been cheated by politicians," he told them in Anlong Veng, a dirt poor town where Pol Pot and his henchmen are still venerated."My heart is pained, but I pretend not to be hurt," he adds.That his complaints get an airing may jar with many Cambodians in a country still piecing together the horrors of the past.But his testimony is...

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    Did the Khmer Rouge commit genocide?
    15.09.15
    Robert Carmichael, IRIN, Cambodia-based journalist

    PHNOM PENH, 14 September 2015 (IRIN) - During its short stay in power in the late 1970s, the Khmer Rouge killed about a quarter of Cambodia’s population, but did they commit genocide? After four years of trying surviving senior leaders of the regime, a war crimes tribunal is only now attempting to answer that question. Demographers at the UN-backed tribunal estimate that between 1.7 million and 2.2 million people died between 1975 and 1979 under the regime. The Khmer Rouge was led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998 before facing justice. To most people in Cambodia and abroad, what took place...

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    Cambodia : The Forgotten Genocide of The Muslim Minority
    08.09.15
    AFP

    A member of Cambodia's minority Cham Muslim community Monday recounted the horrors of living under the Khmer Rouge, describing how regime cadres burned Qurans, forced them to eat pork and murdered them en masse. The testimony came at the second UN-backed trial of the two top surviving former Khmer Rouge leaders. "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, 89, and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, 84, have already been jailed for their pivotal role in a regime responsible for the deaths of up to two million Cambodians from 1975-1979. In August last year they were given life sentences for crimes against...

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    Confronting Khmer Rouge crimes in Cambodia

    The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia face significant challenges as they reckon with the crimes of the Khmer Rouge  The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) were established in 2006 as a “mixed” domestic and international body within Cambodia’s court system, following an agreement between the UN and Royal Government of Cambodia The ECCC has delivered three guilty verdicts, finding Khmer Rouge leaders responsible for crimes against humanity Further prosecutions against other Khmer Rouge figures have faced opposition from the Royal Government...

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    CAMBODIA TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE – IN BRIEF
    04.06.15
    Julia Crawford

    Context - Khmer Rouge terror: Cambodia has been scarred by decades of violence and war, beginning even before its independence from France in 1953. During the Cold War era and the Vietnam War (1955-75), the regime of Norodom Sihanouk (1953-1970) tried a balancing act between the US and the Communist powers in North Vietnam, China and the Soviet Union.  In 1970 Sihanouk was driven from power in a coup by his army chief-of staff Lon Nol, who enjoyed US backing. Sihanouk fled to China and set up a national liberation front that included Khmer Rouge Communist guerillas. Cambodian civilians...

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