News / Asia

Khmer Rouge Victims Seek Memorials in Tribunal Closing Statements

Nuon Chea listens to closing arguments at the Khmer Rouge tribunals, Oct. 16, 2013.
Nuon Chea listens to closing arguments at the Khmer Rouge tribunals, Oct. 16, 2013.
VOA News
Survivors of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime packed a courtroom in Phnom Penh on Wednesday to hear the start of closing statements in the trial of the group's most senior living ex-leaders.

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for their part in the 1970s rule of the communist Khmer Rouge, which is blamed for the deaths of as many as 2 million Cambodians.

Pich Ang, a lawyer for the civil party complainants, told the court his clients are seeking the construction of memorials in Phnom Penh and Paris, as well as a national Cambodian holiday.

“Assigning a date of remembrance will serve as a day to restore dignity to Khmer Rouge victims which include those who died and those who are still alive. The survivors can remember their loved ones. It will serve also as a memory of the crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge time, which will enable healing and restoring dignity to the victims. It will also be a reminder that such a regime will not come back," said Ang.

More than 3,800 victims have been accepted as civil party claimants in Case 002, against the aging former leaders. In Case 001, the court convicted notorious prison warden Kaing Kek Eav, also known as Duch.

Thirty-one victims were selected to testify in the latest case, which covers crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge during the evacuation of Phnom Penh in April 1975.

Closing statements are expected to run through the end of this month. A verdict is expected in the first half of next year.

Long Mom is a villager who traveled from Kompong Speu province to attend the hearing.

"I want the court to sentence these two leaders to life because many people were killed in that regime," said Mom.

Nuon Chea was the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist. Khieu Samphan served as its head of state. Prosecutors say they helped mastermind one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. Both men deny the charges, saying they were attempting to create a socialist utopia.

In order to speed up the prosecution of the group's aging leaders, the tribunal split the case into several smaller trials.

The current case has seen a number of setbacks, including the loss of two defendants. Former foreign secretary Ieng Sary died this year at age 87. His wife, Ieng Thirith was found mentally unfit for trial.

The only case completed by the tribunal since its founding in 2006 was the trial of Duch, who was given a life sentence for his role in running an infamous torture and execution center in Phnom Penh.

Several senior court officials have resigned complaining of interference from the Cambodian government.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Micheal olakunle from: Nigeria
October 16, 2013 10:47 AM
He that kill by the sword must be kill by the sword to serve as a deterrent to others

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More