Cambodian Genocide Tribunals

Finally, after a decade of negotiations and compromise, the war crimes tribunal for former Khmer Rouge soldiers is getting under way in Cambodia. From The Philly Enq. –

The country’s genocide tribunal last week indicted Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch. He is the first top official of the notorious Khmer Rouge to be detained by the special U.N.-backed war crimes court. Duch, 64, ran a notorious prison that doubled as a torture and execution center.

The prison, in Phnom Penh, was the site where some 16,000 suspected enemies of the regime were tortured before being taken out and executed at a mass grave near the city. Less than a dozen prisoners are thought to have survived.

Francois Roux a French lawyer has been hired to defend Eav. Roux is best known for being on the defense team of Zacarias Moussaoui, a Moroccan-born Frenchman convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring to commit terrorism and kill Americans in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Others targeted by the tribunal are Pol Pot’s top lieutenant, Nuon Chea; former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, and Khieu Samphan, who was president under the Khmer Rouge.

nath2.jpg

nath1.jpgOne of the survivors, and one of only two artists to live through the genocide, was Vann Nath, whose fantastic story and unbelievable prison paintings can be seen here.

Also, a brief but important interview with Nath is here. The pictures above show Nath as a prisoner and today.

The Cambodian genocide trials have suffered so many delays that many of the accused have died of old age including Pol Pot himself. Hun Sen, the Vietnamese leader of Cambodia is rightfully concerned that his governments secret relationship with the Khmer Rouge might get some attention during the trials.

For you youngsters out there, from 1975 to 1979 a rebel army known as the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia in an effort to remove all modern influences and take the country back in time to a completely agricultural economy and culture. In the process at least 1/5 of the entire population of the country was murdered or died of disease or starvation.

The rest of the world stood by and did nothing during this time which is par for the course when the killing fields are in poor Asian or African nations. There was no reason to step in and stop the slaughter because there was nothing in it for us and the rest of the modern world.

I will be posting on the tribunals as the events unfold.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Crime, Human rights, Indecency, Terrorism

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