25 February 2018

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05/19/2017 CAMBODIA

Memorial Day. Cambodians remember the victims of the Khmer Rouge

Almost no Cambodian family spared from the genocide. The day of memory is held early due to the election campaign. Strong tensions spread throughout the country. Prime Minister Hun Sen threatens civil war in the event of a defeat.

Phnom Penh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of people gathered in one of the most famous "Killing Fields" in Cambodia to remember victims of the genocide of at least 1.8 million Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge, in power from 1975 1979.

Most victims died of hunger as a result of torture, fatigue or illness in the work camps or killed during mass executions. In Choeung Ek, about 15 kms from the Cambodian capital, still today heavy rains today wash fragments of bones and shreds of victims' clothes in the common pits. A stack of skulls and bones is at the center of the memorial of an era in which almost no Cambodian family has been spared.

Usually, the day of memory, once known as "the Day of Anger", is celebrated on May 20, but this year was anticipated because of the campaign for the election of the June 4 next. Strong tensions are spreading throughout the country ahead of the vote.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge Governor who has been ruling for more than 30 years, has threatened a possible civil war if his Cambodian People's Party does not win the election. His opponents accuse him of using intimidating tactics and submission to maintain power.

See also

06/05/2011 CAMBODIA
Study the Khmer Rouges to avoid the same mistakes, young Cambodian woman says
A young woman writes a letter to a newspaper, saying that the country’s history includes both the “marvellous period” of Angkor and the hellish nightmare of Pol Pot’s regime. For many others, the country’s recent history is painful, useless and better left forgotten. Activists warn that UN trials of Khmer Rouge officials are at risk.

12/12/2005 CAMBODIA
Offices for Killing Fields trials set to open soon

They will be under way  between the end of January and the beginning of February; international and Cambodian judges will preside

23/11/2016 11:16:00 CAMBODIA
Phnom Penh, the UN court confirms life sentence for two former Khmer Rouge leaders

The judges reject appeal filed by the lawyers of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, convicted of crimes against humanity. Both will face a second trial for genocide. Rejected the requests related to procedural flaws and lack of impartiality of the first instance. Tribunal President: life imprisonment "is a just punishment."

27/06/2011 CAMBODIA
Trial of the four major Khmer Rouge leaders opens in Phnom Penh
They are accused of genocide for having killed two million people, a fourth of the entire population. The court, supported by the UN, moves very slowly, in fact it is barley tolerated by the government.

29/01/2016 20:13:00 CAMBODIA
Church mourns Mgr Destombes, mission pioneer amid the ruins of Pol Pot’s regime

Funeral services for the Vicar Emeritus to Phnom Penh will be celebrated tomorrow. A memorial mass is scheduled for the evening. The faithful hold prayer vigil over the body. A MEP missionary born in France, he led the rebirth of the Church in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge tragedy. He presided over the historic Easter Mass of 1990 in the capital in front of 3,000 worshippers.

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