Civil Society Officials Criticize Hun Sen for Exercising Power over the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Friday, 3.4.2009

Posted on 8 April 2009. Filed under: Week 606 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 606

I am out of hospital care, but still not yet quite OK. Trying to catch up with the delays.

Norbert Klein

“Khmer civil society organizations reacted against Prime Minister Hun Sen, who warned foreign co-prosecutors of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal not to accuse any more suspects who were former high ranking cadres of the Democratic Kampuchea regime which massacred nearly two million Khmers between 1975 and 1979.

“The president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], criticized Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech of 31 March 2009 in Sihanoukville, saying ‘To accuse or not to accuse is the court’s duty, and this needs no decision outside of the court.’

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek’s speech, saying, ‘If there are more convictions, citizens who were victimized directly or indirectly by the Khmer Rouge regime, will be satisfied,’ is in contrast to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech.

“The former Khmer Rouge top leaders, who were responsible for killing nearly two million Khmer citizens, are accused by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and are being detained and investigated, are: former Tuol Sleng or S21 prison chief Kaing Gek Eav, alias Duch; former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Ieng Sary; former head of state, Khiev Samphan; former president of the National Assembly, Nuon Chea; and former minister of health and social affairs, Ieng Thirith. All of them are accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, and are waiting for follow-up hearings.

“The director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, Mr. Chhang Youk, said that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has much more time to think about accusations on more suspects. He added that the number alone cannot define to achieve justice from the genocidal regime for the Cambodian people.

“Mr. Chhang Youk said, ‘I think that there is still time for considerations, because additional accusations create concerns.’

“A prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Robert Petit, was quoted by foreign newspapers refusing to comment on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s reaction against the intention for additional accusations. The spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Reach Sambath, said that this is a matter between the United Nation and the Royal Government of Cambodia.

“Mr. Reach Sambath said, ‘What Samdech [Hun Sen] had said is a matter between our Cambodian government and the United Nations, but not related to the court.’

“On 31 March 2009, in Sihanoukville, the Cambodian Prime Minister, Mr. Hun Sen, said, ‘If they would try 20 people, until the trials are finished, war would break out, which then would lead to the deaths of thousands of people. Who will solve it? But now, if [former KR troops] were asked to come out [to go again into the jungle to fight the government], they will not come. Sorry, that should be clear.’

“Also, Mr. Hun Sen wished that the United Nations or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal should run out of money.

“Recently, the Documentation Center of Cambodia, administered by Mr. Chhang Youk, released a survey report which found that 57% of Khmer citizens among the 1,110 respondents support and want that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which is a joint effort by the United Nations and the Cambodian government, should accuse more suspects who are former Khmer Rouge top leaders, who killed almost two million Khmer citizens.

“Duch’s defense lawyer, Mr. Ka Savuth, had said that there are still, in addition, 14 top Khmer Rouge leaders to be accused and arrested for prosecution according to the law, and he will ask the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to accuse 195 prison chiefs of the Khmer Rouge regime, who were involved in massacring tens of thousands of Khmer citizens, where the number of killings is higher than that in the Tuol Sleng prison controlled by Kaing Gek Eav alias Duch. He added that convicting Duch alone is not right.

“On Tuesday, retired King Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk dismissed the opinion that Vietnam was involved in the creation of the Khmer Rouge, but conversely, he said that American forces are to be blamed for the formation of this movement.

“Writing on the first page of a copied news text on 18 March 2009, Preah Bath Norodom Sihanouk called the accusation by Mr. David Chandler, a researcher on Cambodia, that Vietnam trained, supported, provided weapons, and cooperated with the Khmer Rouge, to be absolutely wrong. Continuing on this point, the retired King, aged 87, also criticized America for its bombardment campaign between the 1960s and the 1970s on Cambodian territory, saying that they killed ordinary Khmer citizens who were not communists. Preah Bath Norodom Sihanouk wrote by hand on the margin of the text about the argument of the US historian Ben Kiernan, who had said that the air bombardment could only increase the power of the Khmer Rouge while North Vietnam was defeated, but at the end, America knew that it was not North Vietnam, but the Khmer Rouge who got stronger. He continued to say that it is a shame for the most powerful country of the world that they attacked villagers who were mistaken, though they were Sihanoukists.”Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #52, 3.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 03 April 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #52, 3.4.2009

  • Civil Society Officials Criticize Hun Sen for Exercising Power over the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #156, 3.4.2009

  • An Old Mine Exploding at the Veal Intry Region Caused a Siamese [Thai] Soldier to Lose His Left Leg
  • The National Assembly Adopts a Draft Agreement Encouraging and Protecting Cambodian-Kuwaiti Investments
  • Lawyer Nou Chantha Drove a Car and Hit a Tuk-Tuk, Escaped, and Started a Shootout [against the police, but finally was arrested – Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1914, 3.4.2009

  • US Navy Ship Docks in Sihanoukville Port

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #378, 3.4.2009

  • Duch’s Apology [for killing people in the Tuol Sleng prison] Cannot Be Accepted [by Khmer citizens]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6619, 3.4.2009

  • [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Piromya: In Thai, [the word mistranslated as] “Gangster” Means Also a Lion-Hearted Person and a Brave Gentleman

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.17, #4862, 3.4.2009

  • [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Makes an Apology and Samdech Hun Sen Says That’s OK

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4862, 3.4.2009

  • A Kirirom National Park Deputy Direct Is Arrested for Illegally Using Weapons and for Attempted Murder [Kompong Speu]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1688, 3.4.2009

  • [The US Cable Network News] CNN Published Worldwide that there is Corruption [paying kickbacks to get positions] an the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on the Day of the Opening of the Hearing of Duch
  • Duch’s Defense Lawyer Ka Savuth Said Duch Is Accused of Killing Vietnamese, but Why Yuon [Vietnam] Is Not Accused of Killing Khmers [he said that war was like splashing water, and both sides suffered]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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