Law Students and Cham Muslims Visit ECCC

Three hundred law students and 100 young Cham Muslims visited the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on Tuesday. The visit was part of a two-day tour organized by the Documentation Cen­ter of Cambodia, which also included visits to the Tuol Sleng genocide museum and the Choeung Ek killing fields.

Co-Prosecutor Chea Leang told the group that those found guilty during the trials of former Khmer Rouge would face sentences of no less than five years. She also said that rumors that the Cambodian government does not want to see the trials go forward were untrue.

“It is wrong,” she said. “We are the ones who asked the UN to help set up the court.”

Some of the Chams present recalled family members who had disappeared under the regime.

El Yakin, 20, a student of English literature at Phnom Penh Interna­tional University, said she felt the tribunal would bring justice to her family, even though only top leaders and people most responsible for the regime would be tried.

“The one who killed my uncle is not a top leader,” she said. “He is just a simple person. But I think that even if they sentence the most responsible ones, it also shows justice.”

Kom Kongkear, 18, a first-year law student at the Royal University of Law and Economics, said he hoped the tribunal would improve Cambodia’s judicial system.

His perception of the Cambod­ian judiciary has so far been grim, he said. “I hope the tribunal will help Cambodia’s courts.”


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