Efforts by Khmer Rouge officials to eliminate ethnic Vietnamese people from the country had a devastating impact on two survivors of the regime who gave statements on Tuesday in the trial against senior regime leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.
Uth Sonlay, 67, described how his wife and three children had been taken from a Kratie province cooperative in 1978 after he and other men with Vietnamese wives were taken on a two-day trip under the pretext of collecting bamboo.
“The cooperative chief said ‘You all have fulfilled a great act for Angkar…. All of your wives were collected and taken away. I want all of you comrades to get rid of this wounded flesh,’” Mr. Sonlay told the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
“I said what he instructed us to say, but in my heart I suffered a lot,” he said.
Khang Muoy, 58, also told the tribunal on Tuesday of her suffering following the murder of her ethnic Vietnamese mother and Chinese father in Kampot province.
“I sought permission to visit home, and when I arrived, I did not see my parents or my siblings. I only saw an empty house where I waited and waited for them,” Ms. Muoy said.
“An elder person came to me and said my mother was taken away and killed,” she said, adding that her father and siblings met the same fate.
She later sought permission to visit her brother, who had been working in a mobile unit, to deliver the news, only to be informed that he too had disappeared.
“While I was there, youth came and whispered to me that my brother had been taken away and killed quite some time ago,” she said. “I did not dare to weep in public. I wept quietly.”
Civil parties have been invited to explain their suffering in “impact statements” this week with the hope of receiving reparations for personal harm experienced as a result of Khmer Rouge policies related to the ongoing Case 002/02.