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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.