Witness Explains 3 Stages of KR Treatment of Cham

Author and expert witness Ysa Osman continued his testimony at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Wednesday, explaining to the court that there had been three clear stages in the treatment of the Cham community by the Khmer Rouge.

“The killing of the Cham people, as I testified yesterday, started in 1973,” Mr. Osman said.

“Between 1975 and 1977, the target of the killing was similar to that of the Khmer people, that is, people who resisted the Khmer Rouge,” he said, noting that it was largely Cham religious leaders and teachers who were arrested and killed.

However, following the Koh Phal and Svay Khleang rebellions in late 1975, Mr. Osman explained that Cham families were broken up and forced to live in collectives, making it difficult for parents to pass on Cham traditions to their children.

From 1977 until late 1978, Mr. Osman said that attitudes toward Cham in the east and north zones became harsher and that “killing was done without discrimination.”

Mr. Osman, who works as an analyst for the tribunal’s investigating judges, is set to continue his testimony on March 2.

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