Civil Parties Tell Tribunal of Killings, Hunger

A civil party told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday that his young relatives had their throats cut during the Pol Pot regime, while another said his hunger became so extreme at the Trapaing Thma Dam worksite in Banteay Meanchey province that he would have traded his life for one last substantive meal.

In the final day of statements of harm and suffering related to worksites in the second phase of Case 002, Mean Loeuy said his relatives were killed near the dam site after his father-in-law, a Khmer Republic official, was purged in 1977. Thirteen other members of his family were then sent to the Phnom Srok district hall, he said.

Mean Loeuy, center, stands before giving testimony at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday. (ECCC)
Mean Loeuy, center, stands before giving testimony at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday. (ECCC)

“All of my relatives, 13 of them, had been sent to the north side and killed…only one among 13 relatives could survive the period,” said Mr. Loeuy, who had been a monk in Battambang province before being defrocked by the regime.

“Among the 13 relatives, one was my wife—I did not know if she was pregnant—and one sibling of my wife was also among them. One 2-year-old child and a 5-year-old child were among them. The children’s throats were cut,” Mr. Loeuy said, explaining that he later located the 12 corpses.

Echoing the sentiment of a civil party in July, Mr. Loeuy laid some blame for the atrocities during the Democratic Kampuchea period at the feet of then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk for calling on the peasantry to join the ranks of the communist guerrillas after he was overthrown by Lon Nol in 1970.

“There was an appeal from the late King Father to encourage children to go into the maquis, or jungle, and after which there was Khmer Rouge,” the civil party said.

“After the appeal, we noticed that Khmer Rouge took control of the country and the late King Father was one of the victims as well during the regime—even though he made the appeal.”

In the morning session, Sam Sak, who had been stationed at the dam site as a child, spoke of the toil that extreme hunger took on the mental state of workers.

“Sometimes, we were so hungry and we spoke to one another, saying as long as I could be given just a plate full of rice and a cooked chicken I would [exchange] it for my life as my last meal,” Mr. Sak said.

“My life there could be regarded as the life of an animal and that applies to all the workers.”

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