A civil party told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday that she was told to work until blood flowed from her body in order to avoid execution after the leaders of her military division were purged.
Kong Siek, who joined the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea’s Division 450 in 1975, said she first worked as a cook at Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo Hospital before being relocated to the city’s Obek Kaorm area for “screening” after leaders of the division were arrested by Southwest Zone officials.
“In their regiment meeting…they took me out of the division and they attached me to Bodyguard Unit 75 and then they told me that I had to work harder,” Ms. Siek said.
“My regiment had told us, ‘Your previous superiors betrayed Angkar, you have to work harder to avoid being executed, you have to work hard until blood comes out of your body,” she said.
Ms. Siek said she was later transferred to work at the January 1 dam site in Kompong Thom province, where she claimed to have witnessed two laborers being electrocuted by Khmer Rouge cadres under a mango tree.
“We were queuing up to have our lunch and a worker signaled to me that they were electrocuting people under a mango tree, and when I looked in that direction, I saw two workers being electrocuted,” she said.
However, under questioning by Judge Claudia Fenz, she claimed that her view was blocked by the mango tree and was only informed about the electrocution by another worker.
Before Ms. Siek took the stand Wednesday, Yean Lun—a former cadre accused by another witness of being a “chief executioner” known to ride a bicycle while carrying bloody weapons during the Pol Pot regime—finished testifying, again denying allegations that he had carried out executions.
“No. Of course, I rode a bicycle, but I did not carry with me any knives or any weapons,” he said.
Mr. Lun also refuted a suggestion made by Anta Guisse, defense counsel for Khieu Samphan—who is on trial alongside Nuon Chea for crimes including genocide—that he was a “strong and influential man who did whatever he wished.”
“Not at all, I was not strong and influential. I was only strong and influential in addressing…the challenges faced by the people in the village,” he said.