Don’t Let KR Chiefs Hole Up Against Justice

During his three dec­ades of rule in Iraq, Sad­dam Hussein caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds.

The arrest of Hussein on Sat­urday was a message to the world that those responsible for crimes against humanity and genocide must be brought to trial and their victims given justice.

More than 1 million people—from farmers to members of the royal family—were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime. Since 1979, some Khmer Rouge leaders have died without ever being prosecuted, and others have escaped responsibility from the acts that they perpetrated.

In August 1979, the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal was held in Phnom Penh to prosecute the genocidal crimes of the Pol Pot-Ieng Sary clique.

Unfortunately, there were no Khmer Rouge leaders at the trial; they were hiding in the jungle. But if they had been arrested at that time, then Cambodians would not have had to continue suf­fering and living with the past.

Since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, Khmer Rouge leaders have had the chance to speak ill of their victims and tell lies to their supporters.

Hussein was arrested about 10 months after the collapse of his regime, and he will be prosecuted in the near future. The number of victims in Iraq under the rule of Hussein was less than in Cam­bodia under the rule of Khmer Rouge leaders, but they were similar in terms of suffering.

I hope that Khmer Rouge leaders will not escape from the forthcoming tribunal to hide in a hole or a cave.

 Vannak Huy, researcher, Documentation Center of Cambodia

 

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