News / Asia

Khmer Rouge Tribunal Staff Threatens Strike

People attend a hearing for former Khmer Rouge leaders at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, November 21, 2011.
People attend a hearing for former Khmer Rouge leaders at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, November 21, 2011.
VOA News
Cambodian staff at the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal are threatening to go on strike over unpaid wages.

About 250 staff members, including judges and prosecutors, have not been paid since June. About 100 of them say they will stop their work on Sunday unless they are paid.

The crisis has prompted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to issue a statement appealing for more money. His statement said "the very survival of the court is now in question," and "financial failure would be a tragedy for the people of Cambodia."

Cambodian government spokesman Ek Tha also appealed to the international community to provide more funds, saying Phnom Penh has paid enough.

"I hope the donors will continue the funding to Cambodian side because we cannot pay more on the tribunal than the expenses we spend on the Supreme Court and Appeals Court of Cambodia," he said. "It's impossible to do that because we have spent 257 percent and 300 percent of our budget on what we spent on local courts. The Cambodian government, I would say, has spent $16.9 million since 2006. It's extremely too much."

The court has faced several funding problems since its founding in 2006, including a staff strike over unpaid wages in March of this year.

Neth Pheaktra, a spokesman of Khmer Rouge Tribunal, told VOA Khmer that if a new strike takes place, it will cause trouble for the tribunal.

"Some of the work that we plan to do, such as some documents that need to be translated, and the issuance of the closing statement, will be stalled or delayed because of a lack of resources," he said.

The court was set up to prosecute the top leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime, which is blamed for the deaths of nearly two million Cambodians during its bloody rule four-year rule in the late 1970s.

So far, the court has only handed down one conviction, and the advanced age of the remaining defendants has cast doubt on the prospects finishing its job while they are still alive, or able to participate in their trials for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, before the war crimes tribunal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 19, 2012.Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, before the war crimes tribunal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 19, 2012.
x
Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, before the war crimes tribunal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 19, 2012.
Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, before the war crimes tribunal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 19, 2012.
Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, both in their 80s, are the only senior Khmer Rouge leaders alive and considered fit to stand trial. They deny the charges. The group's leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998, and co-founder Ieng Sary died earlier this year.

​Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as "Duch," was sentenced last year to life in prison for his role in killing more than 14,000 while running the Tuol Sleng torture and execution center in Phnom Penh.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid