Survivor Explains Life of Misery After Khmer Rouge Forced Marriage

A woman who claimed she was forced to marry and then raped by her new husband with the help of fellow militiamen during the Pol Pot era told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Thursday how she has lived in misery ever since.

Pen Sochan, who was wed alongside 11 other couples to a man she had never met, used her statement of suffering to convey the effect forced marriage had on her life.

“During the regime, I had a lot of suffering as a Cambodian child. I was born as a woman, but I did not have a formal wedding—I was forced in fact. I was raped,” she said.

“After the regime, I met a bad husband and then I continued to suffer a lot…. I loved my father; he never beat me. I do not know where he was killed,” she said.

Ms. Sochan concluded her testimony by asking Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan—both on trial for crimes including genocide—why people were forced to marry during the regime.

“Why were people who didn’t know each other marched up to get married? What was it for?”

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