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  1. #1
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    Court Jails Khmer Rouge Leaders For Life For Crimes Against Humanity

    Court jails Khmer Rouge leaders for life for crimes against humanity
    August 7, 2014

    PHNOM PENH: Two former Khmer Rouge leaders were jailed for life Thursday after being found guilty of crimes against humanity by Cambodia's UN-backed court, the first-ever sentences for leaders of the murderous regime.

    "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, 88, and former head of state Khieu Samphan, 83 -- the most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leaders -- betrayed no emotion in the dock, but regime survivors outside the court wept and applauded as the sentences were handed down. Judge Nil Nonn said the pair were "guilty of the crimes against humanity, of extermination... political persecution, and other inhumane acts."

    Their lawyers said they would appeal the verdict, but the judge said the gravity of the crimes meant they "shall remain in detention until this judgement becomes final". Son Arun, a lawyer for Nuon Chea, said: "It is unjust for my client. He did not know or commit many of these crimes."

    Prosecutors had sought the maximum life terms for the defendants, who played key roles in a regime which left up to two million people dead during the "Killing Fields" era from 1975-1979. Nuon Chea, wearing his trademark sunglasses, sat in a wheelchair in the dock as the verdict was read, while Khieu Samphan stood next to him.

    JUSTICE AT LAST

    The ruling, which follows a two-year trial, is likely to bring a level of relief to those who survived the Khmer Rouge years, which saw a quarter of Cambodia's population killed or die from starvation and overwork.

    "This is the justice that I have been waiting for these last 35 years," said 70-year-old survivor Khieu Pheatarak, one of a few dozen survivors at the Phnom Penh-based court to hear the verdict. I will never forget the suffering but this is a great relief for me. It is a victory and an historic day for all Cambodians."

    She was among tens of thousands forced from her home in the capital at gunpoint in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge's peasant army, as the regime tried to create a communist agrarian utopia. The plan spectacularly backfired, leading to the collapse of the economy and mass starvation, while Khmer Rouge cadres embarked on a bloody purge of perceived enemies of their revolution.

    The defendants had throughout the trial denied knowledge of the regime's crimes at the time. But they both eventually expressed a level of remorse for the suffering inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge. Despite the verdict, many observers and victims fear the ageing Khmer Rouge leaders may not survive to serve much of their sentence.

    Former foreign minister Ieng Sary died aged 87 last year while still on trial. His wife Ieng Thirith was released in 2012 after being ruled unfit for trial due to poor health. The complex case against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan was split into a series of smaller trials in 2011 for reasons including their advanced age and the large number of accusations.

    Led by "Brother Number One" Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge dismantled modern society with regime atrocities affecting virtually every family in Cambodia. In its breakthrough first trial, the court in 2010 sentenced former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, to 30 years in prison -- later increased to life on appeal -- for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people.

    Court jails Khmer Rouge leaders for life for crimes against humanity - Channel NewsAsia


  2. #2
    Thailand Expat KEVIN2008's Avatar
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    This has taken too long. The people of Cambodia deserved better justice than this. Pol Pot was never held accountable. All the evidence was there, the killing fields, S21. Babies were held by the feet and lashed off of a tree to kill them. Life in prison is too good for them. Hopefully itíll bring some closure to the children of those that perished.

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    Obviously this has been dragged out over a long period, but as it is again in the news some facts that I hadn't read or heard before came to light, namely that the first wave of genocide was directed at Muslims (Cham) and that they were the most persecuted throughout the period of Khmer Rouge rule.

    I'm glad that a semblance of justice is seen to be done, even though it may only be the leading figures and the the lower echelons of the Khmer Rouge will still live out there days in freedom, it is a significant judgement that recognises the need for closure for the Cambodian people.
    Last edited by Neo; 08-08-2014 at 05:04 AM.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

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    Better late than never I think, but it would have been better to bring the Khmer Rouge perpetrators to trial decades ago.

    It's a complicated thing though, with the history of the war in Vietnam and the bombing of Cambodia being part of the picture. Without that, I wonder if the Khmer Rouge might not have come into power to begin with.

    I read very recently where Ieng Thirith was released from a Bangkok hospital and sent back to Cambodia. She's apparently afflicted with Alzheimer's.

    Interestingly, my Thai wife who was a child during the events of the 1970s, does not seem to have any knowledge of what was going on. For those that have Thai spouses or friends, have you ever asked them about the Khmer Rouge and the atrocities? Just wondering if there is general knowledge of that situation amongst Thais.
    Last edited by Sumocakewalk; 08-08-2014 at 09:45 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEVIN2008 View Post
    This has taken too long. The people of Cambodia deserved better justice than this. Pol Pot was never held accountable. All the evidence was there, the killing fields, S21. Babies were held by the feet and lashed off of a tree to kill them. Life in prison is too good for them. Hopefully it’ll bring some closure to the children of those that perished.
    Blame the mollycoddling bleeding hearts.

    These trials could have happened long ago, but for European crankiness at Cambodia refusing to pledge that it would not invoke the death sentence.

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    Now what about that evil criminal, Kissinger, oh he has immunity from his victims.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    Now what about that evil criminal, Kissinger, oh he has immunity from his victims.
    Yeah. The extension of evil goes deep.
    These are the far too common tragedies that are always swept under the rug.

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    The origins of the Khmer Rouge and their lot.

    Many of the true instigators get off free as a bird.

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    But for Cambodia this better than nothing, a recognition at least.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo View Post
    But for Cambodia this better than nothing, a recognition at least.
    Perhaps, yes...

    But remember that a greater percentage of the population weren't even born until the mid to late '80s.

    What is the demographic make up Cambodia...?
    Something around 75% of the population is under 25 years.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    Now what about that evil criminal, Kissinger, oh he has immunity from his victims.
    He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksyokel View Post
    In my opinion they should be walled up and left to die such painful deaths as they inflicted on human beings.
    These creatures are sub humans who emerged from under a stone anda primeval sludge and sadly survived too.
    My feelings exactly.
    "In my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself."

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    At their age a life sentence doesn't mean much really.
    "In my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself."

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