Coalition of the Confused

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Better late than never   Asia

Started 11/17/18 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 385 views.
Jenifer (Zarknorph)
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From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

11/17/18

Last surviving Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide

Two elderly Cambodian men, one wearing sunglasses, sit in a courtroom with headphones on.

The only surviving senior Khmer Rouge leaders have been found guilty of genocide in a landmark judgement by Cambodia's long-running war crimes tribunal.

Key points:

  • An estimated 2 million Cambodians died during the Khmer Rouge era
  • The verdict was the first time a court has ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide
  • Observers believe this ruling likely marks the final decision for the UN-backed tribunal

Nuon Chea, 92, "Brother Number Two" to Pol Pot, and former regime president Khieu Samphan, 87, were convicted over the genocide of Cambodia's ethnic Vietnamese during the Khmer Rouge era in the 1970s.

However, the judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal said that while genocide was also committed against the minority Cham — Muslims who were forced to eat pork, banned from prayer, and had their Korans burned — the two men did not have "genocidal intent".

As a result, Nuon Chea was found guilty of genocide against the Cham on the principle of "superior responsibility", while his co-defendant was cleared of the charges.

Friday's verdict was the first time a court has ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide.

An estimated 2 million Cambodians died through overwork, starvation and mass killings during the Khmer Rouge's era, which lasted from April 1975 to January 1979.

The brutal ultra-Maoist regime, led by Pol Pot, forcibly removed the population from towns and cities, and sent them to strict rural labour camps, an experiment that left the country in ruins.

The two men had already been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of crimes against humanity in 2014.

In Friday's verdict, they were convicted of further crimes against humanity including forced marriage, rape, persecution on religious and racial grounds, enforced disappearances and extermination.

The men — who admit to being Khmer Rouge leaders but denied the charges against them — received additional life sentences, which are to be combined with their existing prison terms.

Many observers believe that the ruling likely marks the final decision for the UN-backed tribunal, which has faced criticism for its sluggish pursuit of justice and limited scope.

Established in 2006, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, as it is formally known, has so far convicted just three people at a cost more than $400 million.

The only other person to be convicted was Kaing Guev Ek, known as Duch, who operated Phnom Penh's infamous S21 prison, where 12,000 people were killed.

Pol Pot died a free man in 1998, while "Brother Number Three" Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith were both charged but died before they could face justice.

The tribunal still has two cases before it, concerning members of the next rung down in the Khmer Rouge hierarchy.

But with the defendants advancing in age, the court facing perpetual funding challenges and strong political opposition within Cambodia, it appears unlikely they will be prosecuted.

Prime Minister Hun Sen — himself a former Khmer Rouge commander — has long been a vociferous opponent of allowing the cases to continue.

Rebecca Gidley, an expert in the tribunal based at the Australian National University, said the Cambodian Government had a lot at stake.

"The narrative the Cambodian People's Party has built for decades is of a very small handful of evil leaders and everybody else, including themselves as former Khmer Rouge leaders, were innocent of all crimes associated with it," she said.

"So any expansion of the suspect pool is a threat to the narrative that they have been building since 1979."

With nearly 40 years now passed since the fall of the regime in a Vietnamese-backed invasion, many Cambodians say they now prefer to look to the future than dwell in the past.

Almost 70 per cent of Cambodians are under the age of 30, meaning the majority of the population did not live through their country's darkest times.

But Youk Chhang, the director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, which catalogues atrocities committed under Khmer Rouge, said there was no escaping the fact that the country's present h
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BerrySteph

From: BerrySteph

5/10/19

Jenifer (Zarknorph) said:

Here it is

Thankyou.

Why did the US try to reverse the world's only "successful" regime change, the one against the Khmer Rouge?

Does this verdict mean the child-prostitution industry can be wound up now?

In reply toRe: msg 2
Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

BerrySteph

From: BerrySteph

Nov-8

Jenifer (Zarknorph) said:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has given its longest sentence of 30 years in prison to former Congolese military leader Bosco Ntaganda for atrocities including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers.

Does that mean we favour such trials now?

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