KRT Civil Party Tells of Forced Marriage

A civil party told the Khmer Rouge tribunal Thursday how she was forced to marry a man she hated during the Pol Pot regime and had sex with him out of fear while a soldier listened through cracks in the floorboards.

Cheang Srei Mom, from Takeo province’s Tram Kak district, said she did not dare question the decision of local cadres to pair her up with a local man in 1977, when she was in her early 20s.

“When I was called to the commune office I was horrified because I did not know what was about to happen. I arrived and was told by Ol, the women’s unit chief, that I had to be prepared because Angkar was to ask me to make a resolution on the night, and I did not dare ask who I was going to get married to,” Ms. Srei Mom said.

“I told her that I did not have any objections as long as my mother and father agreed, but was asked, ‘Are you a daughter of Angkar, or are you the daughter of your parents?’ and I said I was a daughter of Angkar,” Ms. Srei Mom said.

The civil party said she knew her chosen partner, to whom she is still married and has come to love, but “hated” him at the time.

Ms. Srei Mom said a house was organized for the new couple three days after they were wed in order for them to consummate their marriage, with a Khmer Rouge soldier stationed below the room listening in.

“Yes I slept with my husband…I had to sleep with [him] because I would have been in danger because there was a militiaman eavesdropping…I had nowhere to escape,” she said, adding that couples who refused to have sex after marriage were punished with forced labor.

Ms. Srei Mom’s testimony will continue on Monday.

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