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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » First Khmer Rouge Leaders Convicted... tokenism or significant moment?

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Source: (consider it) Thread: First Khmer Rouge Leaders Convicted... tokenism or significant moment?

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BBC News story
Human Rights Watch's daily briefing

From 1975-1979 the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia exterminated, persecuted, starved, overworked, crushed and executed the country's population. They destroyed their country's economy, agriculture, and decimated its future, They persecuted all intellectuals and professionals, killing many, pressing others into forced work on doomed rural cooperative agricultural efforts.

The two leaders prosecuted today were the first high-level Khmer Rouge leaders to be convicted (Pol Pot's deputy and the Maoist regime's head of state) - the former prison chief being the only one previously sentenced (in 2010) - but he was not part of the central leadership of the regime.
The two of them are to have a separate trial on accusations of genocide.

Amnesty International says the trial was "An important step towards justice", although highlights obstacles the court had faced.
The Human Rights Watch briefing linked to above says
Prime Minister Hun Sen says that the convictions of a few leaders will be enough to provide justice for the Cambodian people and that no more cases will be allowed. Senior Khmer Rouge killers continue to live in villages and towns next to the surviving family members of those they killed.
35-40 years on, it seems incredible that these are the first convictions. It also seems incredible that the Cambodian PM doesn't want to pursue more, yet how much point is there? Are these trials tokenism? Is their value to the survivors of the victims of the Khmer Rouge the main point of them, and if so, why aren't there more? If people know the Khmer Rouge leaders are living amongst them, why haven't they been arrested and tried before now?

The whole thing's a bit baffling. Is anyone able to offer useful perspective or to shed light on it?

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)

Posts: 3711 | From: all at sea. | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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