Cambodia - Trying the Khmer Rouge: Race Against Time

Thirty years after Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia, there is still doubt over whether those responsible for the atrocities which followed will ever face trial. Despite the removal of all international obstacles earlier this year, the special court has not been set up and the government in Phnom Penh is saying it cannot meet its $13 million share of the $56 million cost without further foreign aid. There are also doubts about the planned judicial procedures.

The World Today Published 1 October 2005 Updated 15 October 2020 5 minute READ

Akbar Khan

Between 1975 and 1979 hundreds of thousands of Cambodians were forcibly removed to the countryside from towns and cities as part of a massive agricultural plan to transform it into a classless socialist society. Widespread atrocities resulted in the scattering of mass graves throughout the country. In 1979 Vietnamese troops captured the capital Phnom Penh and Khmer Rouge leaders fled to the forests of the Thai-Cambodian border. According to a UN estimate, approximately twenty percent of the 1975 population of 7.3 to 7.9 million people were killed by the Communist Party of Kampuchea widely known as the Khmer Rouge.

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