Genocide Trials

Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, looks on during a hearing Tuesday at the UN-backed genocide tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal has been on the forefront of my mind and everyone else’s these days.  Everyone in Phnom Penh lives and works within 10 km of the buildings where the trials are being held, and as the new apartment that Steve and I are moving to in 10 days sits directly across the street from Tuol Sleng.  From our balcony, we will see the former secondary school that was used as an interrogation and torture centre that claimed the lives of 14,000 Cambodians between 1975 and of three decades for genocide trials to happen – and unfortunately many former high level Khmer Rouge cadres were never brought to justice.  Pol Pot himself, the author and perfector of the horrific regime that claimed the lives of 2 million Cambodians, died at home in 1998.  Ta Mok, another high ranking Khmer Rouge cadre who was known as “The Butcher” died in 2004.  

But this is an important step.  If anything, an opportunity for Cambodians to bring the many, many people who were responsible for the tragedy to justice in their minds, through Duch’s trial.






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