A commune chief in Kompong Cham province told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Thursday that villagers were asked to help exhume the bodies buried at the Wat Au Trakuon Security Center after 1979.
“Public servants invited villagers to exhume bones and skulls and put them in each stupa,” said Seng Kuy, the chief of Kang Meas district’s Angkor Ban commune, who was made to labor in the area during the Pol Pot regime.
Under questioning from Khieu Samphan’s defense team, Mr. Kuy explained that before 1975, Khmer people and Cham Muslims in his district coexisted amicably.
“In the early morning, Cham people would go to the river for fishing, while Khmer people would go to the rice fields,” he said.
But after the Khmer Rouge came to power, Mr. Kuy said, that relationship changed.
“They did not want any Cham people or other races to live in the country,” he said of the regime.
Asked how he knew this, Mr. Kuy quoted the commune security chief—a man he named only as Run—who he said arrested all Cham residents of Angkor Ba village 2 in 1977.
“We will kill all the Cham people, we will spare no one,” Mr. Kuy said he once heard Run say.