The Trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders – each new delay reduces the credibility of this process of international justice

Only five of the Khmer Rouge, responsible for one of the worst genocidal regimes of the 20th Century, have ever stood trial.  One, Comrade Duch, in charge of Toul Sleng, has been convicted.  The continuing shambles of the Extraordinary Chambers, set up in political comprise with Hun Sen, Cambodia’s astute political leader, brings no justice for these, some of the thousands of victims from the Toul Sleng torture and interrogation camp, themselves only a small number in the genocidal scale of the Khmer Rouge killings:

faces of victims Toul Sleng

faces of victims Toul Sleng

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The four accused, of whom only three are now fit to stand trial, as Ieng Thirith has developed dementia (a long life denied to her victims), are pictured below

Khie Sampan and Ieng Sary

Khie Sampan and Ieng Sary

Nuon Chea and Ieng Thinrith

Nuon Chea and Ieng Thinrith

Today brings new evidence of the chaotic conditions of the Khmer Rouge trials have descended as translators, unpaid since December, go on strike.

Playing a clever long game, Hun Sen has ensured that the ‘Extraordinary Chambers’, a joint court run in Cambodia with participation and support from the international community, has effectively run into the sand.  The costs have been horrendous, the ground rules a fudged political compromise, the conclusion a long way in the future.

The losers are the Cambodian people denied an opportunity to come to terms with the horrendous crimes committed in the 1970s.   Click on the link below for Guardian coverage:

Staff on Strike

Previous blogs on this long running saga can be found at:

Cambodia’s war crimes tribunal: where next?

Thet Sambath fears for his life

Judge quits trial

Enemies of the People

Enemies of the People: a film you should see

 

 

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