Ethnic Minorities Fill Out ECCC Complaint Forms

More than 45 ethnic Vietna­mese and ethnic Chinese residents of Kep municipality and Prey Veng prov­ince have filled out victim complaint forms from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambo­dia on Monday, detailing crimes perpetrated against them during the Khmer Rouge regime.

Twenty-eight ethnic Vietna­mese filed their complaints last week while 17-plus ethnic Chinese filed complaints in Kep on Monday, said Vanthan Peoudara, deputy director of the Docu­mentation Center of Cam­bodia, which helped the complainants fill out the forms.

“They filed complaints with the court because they want the court to find justice for them,” Vanthan Peoudara said Monday, adding that the majority of complainants are seeking compensation for their community rather than for themselves.

The ECCC published last month standard complaint forms for victims who want prosecutors to investigate their complaints or who want to sign on as civil parties to the proceedings.

Vietnamese and Chinese have traditionally been the two largest ethnic minorities in Cambodia and, along with the country’s Cham minority, were targeted by the Khmer Rouge.

Late last month around 300 Cham Muslim leaders from across the country filled out victim complaint forms for the ECCC.

“Between now and December, we try to collect claims from ethnic minority groups,” DC-Cam Di­rector Youk Chang said, adding that DC-Cam’s goal is to have 40,000 to 50,000 complaints filed with the ECCC next year.

All four of the former Khmer Rouge leaders arrested so far have been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, but none have been charged with the crime of genocide.

Youk Chang said that complaints filed by ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese could change this.

“It will support the charge of genocide,” he said. “It’s important because these minorities were discriminated by the Khmer Rouge.”

 

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