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  1. #1
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    Khmer Rouge : Cambodian court to hear impact of forced marriages

    Cambodian court to hear impact of forced marriages
    Robert Carmichael


    Chief Khmer Rouge torturer Kaing Guek Eav, aka Duch, looks on during his trial on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on March 30, 2009.

    A Cambodian woman is among thousands seeking justice after the Khmer Rouge forced them to marry men they had never met.

    In 1978, during the final months of the Khmer Rouge's brutal rule of Cambodia, 16-year-old Pen Sochan was ordered to marry a soldier.

    Forced marriage is among charges laid against four senior Khmer Rouge leaders whose trial starts in June, at the United Nations-backed tribunal in Phnom Penh.

    A new documentary, Red Wedding, has followed Pen Sochan's story.

    She has been recognised as one of nearly 4,000 victims, who are known as civil parties, for the purposes of the court case.

    The makers of Red Wedding say 250,000 Cambodian women were forcibly married under the Khmer Rouge regime, and unlike in other parts of the world men were also forced to wed.

    Duong Savorn, from the legal advice group Cambodian Defenders Project, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program forced marriage victims had little notice of the Khmer Rouge's plans.

    "Normally the Khmer Rouge informed victims just a couple of hours or sometimes a couple of days beforehand," he said.

    "Sometimes they were called straight from the rice fields to be married without notice in advance.

    "They hadn't known about [it] before at all - both men and women. And after they married, about a couple of hours later, they were assigned to live as a couple.

    "During the first night or second night, the Khmer Rouge cadres surrounded them to make sure that they have sex with each other - they have to follow Angkar's orders otherwise they would be killed.

    radioaustralianews.net.au

  2. #2
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    Film reveals rape under KR regime
    TUESDAY, 07 JUNE 2011 15:00 ROTH MEAS


    Film subject Pen Sochan waits anxiously in Chenla Theatre before the world premiere of the documentary Red Wedding, about her rape and forced marriage

    FORCED marriage and rape is the harrowing topic of a new documentary titled Red Wedding, which premiered at Chenla Theatre at the weekend.

    Director Chan Lida, 31, decided to shoot the personal story of Pen Sochan from Pursat province, who was forced to get married by Khmer Rouge soldiers when she was just 16 years old.

    Chan Lida met her at the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in 2009 when Pen Sochan, now 48, filed a formal complaint about her forced marriage.

    The director discovered many other Cambodian women had suffered a similar fate – a fact little covered in accounts of that genocidal time.

    “Forced marriages happened about 30 years ago, but people have never talked freely about it because it is likely to embarrass the victims. Pen Sochan is one victim among many women who had been forced into marriage at that time,” says Chan Lida.

    She sees Red Wedding as an important historical record, one that will resonate among the next generation of Cambodian women.

    “Making this film is likely to give voice to the victims of forced weddings. I think this film will encourage victims to talk about their own stories as well as to transfer the message to the next generation,” says the director.

    Chan Lida says she chose the title Red Wedding because red was the colour of the Khmer Rouge regime.

    The film shows Pen Sochan revealing her past forced marriage and subsequent to her six children and a friend, and questioning former Khmer Rouge soldiers about why they forced people into marriage.

    Pen Sochan said after the premiere of the film that she felt ashamed at the beginning of the documentary when she heard people laugh at her story, especially one scene where she said she didn’t like the man chosen for her because he looked ugly.

    But the applause of the audience, saluting her courage in sharing her painful story, gave her relief and some hope, she added.

    She said she was lucky that her marriage happened just a few months before the end of the regime in 1979, before Vietnamese and Cambodian troops overthrew the Khmer Rouge. Otherwise, she said, she would have been killed because she refused to accept her new husband.

    In the film, she recalls her wedding day, when cadres offered her new clothes and a scarf – a rarity in that period.

    She was under huge pressure to accept the forced marriage because otherwise she would be executed.

    “I was very young at the time, so I didn’t know what love was,” said Pen Sochan. “I refused to sleep with him. But if I refused to accept him as my husband within three days, I knew I would be killed.

    “My new husband raped me. So the day after I got married, my uncle who knew that I couldn’t accept that man as my husband, suggested that I run away.”

    Pen Sochan at first sought asylum with her relatives, but nobody, not even her mother, dared to help her for fear of the whole family being executed. Fortunately, her best friend agreed to hide her from everybody and offered her food.

    Pen Sochan still suffers from the shame and trauma of the rape and her first wedding. Her second husband was a government soldier who was killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers in the 1990s.

    “I haven’t dared to talk about it before because I thought that my children, who were born in these times, would not believe my story,” said Pen Sochan.

    The United Nations estimates that at least 250,000 Cambodian women were forced into marriage during the Khmer Rouge regime.

    Bophana Audio Visual Resource Centre cooperated with the German organisation GIZ to make the documentary, which runs for one hour in Khmer with English subtitles.

  3. #3
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    Uploaded by voakhmerservice on 6 Jun 2011

    A new documentary that examines the effects of forced marriage under the Khmer Rouge premiered in Phnom Penh last week, underscoring the ongoing trauma the practice has caused in women. "Red Wedding," a 58-minute documentary by filmmaker Chan Lida, follows the modern-day life of a woman who was forced to marry a Khmer Rogue soldier at the age of 16.

    The woman, Pen Sokchan, says she has been living with shame ever since, after her unwanted husband raped her under Khmer Rouge orders.

    "Red Wedding," which premiered at the Chenla Theater Thursday night, highlights the lasting damage of forced marriages.

    One member of the audience, Son Thann, a 58-year-old woman from Kandal province, wept after the screening. "I can hardly speak," she said. "This film is like my own story."


    VOA Khmer Say Mony reports from Phnom Penh)

    youtube.com

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    Surprisingly , some of these shotgun weddings actually worked and stood the test of time. I read a book by a Cambodian refugee who touched on the subject who reckoned that in some cases advercity actually drove people together. Always two sides to the coin.

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