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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora