How the killing fields have cast a shadow over the whole country. The history of genocide in Cambodia

The truth about crimes in Cambodia remained hidden for many years. Most people accountable for genocide have never been brought to justice.

Cambodia was to become a country where genuine communism could finally hold sway. Residents were evicted from cities which were the epitome of evil. Private property that encourages greed was banned. All representatives of the ancient regime were eliminated as they could prevent the utopia from becoming a reality. In just several years, the regime killed nearly one-fourth of people in a country that had a population of just seven million.

First settlements within the territory of today’s Cambodia begun as early as 5,000 BC, but the united Khmer Empire was founded in the 11th century. The country’s golden age continued until the 13th century. The Khmer Empire expanded its territory with today’s Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. A hundred years later, the Khmer Empire was conquered by the Thai people who moved its capital from Angkor Thom to Phnom Penh.

In the 19th century, the French entered the Far East. Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos were incorporated into French Indochina. Despite a number of uprisings against the colonisers staged over decades, the country regained its independence as late as in the 1950s.

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