News / Asia

    Former Khmer Rouge Deny War Crimes Charges

    Police officers line up to attend a hearing of former Khmer Rouge leaders at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, August 29, 2011
    Police officers line up to attend a hearing of former Khmer Rouge leaders at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, August 29, 2011

    Multimedia

    The world is watching as citizens in some Middle Eastern countries seek justice against recently toppled leaders of sometimes brutal governments. In Cambodia, the reign of the Maoist Khmer Rouge ended decades ago, but efforts to bring those responsible to justice continue. Three of those facing prosecution may finally face justice after many years in the Khmer Rouge tribunals.


    Ta An is accused of being part of a killing campaign during the Khmer Rouge's rule in the late 1970s.

    But he denied overseeing genocide. He said he was transferred to Kompong Cham province, where some 150,000 died, after the killing took place.

    “When I arrived, that was finished already, from the bottom up to the highest levels. I focused on re-organizing new villages and communes. I was not involved in anything at all,” he said.

    Court documents prepared by the Khmer Rouge tribunal list his alleged crimes: forced labor, inhumane living conditions, unlawful arrest and detention, physical and mental abuse, torture and killing.  

    “At present I am not fearful of the court, and in the future, when I die, I won’t be afraid of Yama [the  Buddhist god of the dead]. Not fearful. I am now doing good deeds. I practice religious art. I did not commit killings. But am I afraid of Yama? I am not afraid.”

    Im Chaem is accused of being responsible for 40,000 deaths. She said the charges are lies.

    “I turn to worry about those who’ve made allegations against me. I don’t know who did this to me. This is a life-and-death issue and involves politics. It is wrong as to what I did and my actions. It is clearly different as the earth and the sky,” she said.

    Meas Muth, a former army general, is among those under investigation in the United Nations-backed tribunal's third and fourth cases. He also denied being part of a killing campaign, and said the cases are not valid.

    “The law for the prosecution of Khmer Rouge leaders limits to only the senior leaders and the most responsible leaders. Right now they are already there. If they bring more people, it is beyond the law. And if so, it would cause problems to our society and security,” he said.

    Muth’s alleged crimes include sending Khmer Rouge members in his division to death at Tuol Sleng prison, known as S-21, a charge he denied. He does admit, though, to some incidents taking place within his ranks.

    “There could be some which happened when the General Staff was called to attend a study. Later the unit was informed that certain individuals were not allowed to go back. The General Staff would then send them to S-21.”

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said he does not want more Khmer Rouge tribunal cases, charging they could destabilize national security. But the tribunal's staff are under international pressure to find justice for the victims many years ago.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora