Khmer Rouge Trial Verdict - The Beginning of the End of Impunity

Monday, July 26, 2010


Khmer Rouge Trial Verdict - The Beginning of the End of Impunity

26 July, 2010

Today saw the conviction and sentencing to 35 years imprisonment of Kain Guev Eav (alias Duch), chief of Tuol Sleng (S-21) prison, for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva conventions, including willful killing, torture, willfully causing great suffering and injury, depriving civilians and prisoners of war of the right to a fair trial, and unlawful confinement of civilians.

We share the disappointment of the many civil parties at the sentence – which is lower than that requested by prosecutors, and which will only amount to a maximum of 19 years more to serve after procedural credit is given – and at the court’s ability to grant only “collective and moral reparations” for 70 of the civil parties.

Although falling short of what many survivors and families had hoped for, the verdict today is a first step toward accountability and healing. The trial of the top five leaders of Khmer Rouge is symbolic as the beginning of the end of impunity. This is a long process that all democrats have been fighting for, and will continue to fight for, in order to eliminate all forms of violence and injustice to our people.

The momentum from this case should continue to build the political will for independence of the justice system and access to justice. Only with an independent justice system can the healing process begin for the people for real peace for years to come.

We support Judge Marcel Lemonde's request to broaden the investigation scope of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. In this spirit, Judge Marcel Lemonde's initiative to summon, as witnesses and in order to gather more information, an additional number of persons even though they are currently holding high-ranking government positions is legitimate.

Members of Parliament
Sam Rainsy Party


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