Most ECCC Reparations Projects Secure Funding

Some $770,000 in funding has been secured to pay for reparations projects related to the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s case against two senior regime leaders, the court announced Monday.

Ten of the 13 projects proposed by victims’ lawyers—which include sculptures, a national day of remembrance, an exhibition and an illustrated book—have received financial support, according to a statement from the tribunal.

If the Trial Chamber finds Brother Number Two Nuon Chea and former head of state Khieu Samphan guilty in the first phase of their trial for crimes against humanity, it “may grant moral and collective reparations to the Civil Parties in its judgment,” a condition of which is that funding could be secured, the statement said.

Tribunal rules previously held that convicted persons must pay for reparations out of pocket, but because all of the court’s defendants are indigent, judges voted in 2010 to allow reparations projects to be funded by external donors. Their decision followed a verdict in the case of S-21 prison commandant Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, which left civil parties bitterly disappointed when nearly all their requests for reparations were rejected for lack of funds.

Two of the projects—a national day of remembrance and the online publication of the names of the civil parties in the first phase of Case 002—require no funding. A Public Memorials Initiative, which hopes to develop about six public memorials for victims of the Khmer Rouge, has not yet been funded.

The Australian government will fund a therapy program administered by the mental health group Transcultural Psychosocial Organization, while the Swiss development agency will foot the bill for a community learning center in Battambang province.

But the majority of the funding has come from German sources including the German development agency GIZ and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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