Press Release: Khmer Rouge Victims Demand ECCC Inventory and Provincial Learning Centers as Part of Their Right to Reparations for All KR Victims

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Civil Party of Orphans Class Demands ECCC Inventory and Provincial Learning Centers
as Part of Their Right to Reparations for All KR Victims


PHNOM PENH, 23 July 2010: The Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia (“Victims Association”)—the first Cambodia-based association to be officially registered with the Ministry of Interior and the first to be officially recognized by the Victims Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (“ECCC”)—demands that the inventory of the ECCC be given to victims after it has closed operations and that Learning Centers in all 24 provinces of Cambodia be established and furnished with this inventory. The Civil Party of Orphans Class, a sub-group within the Victims Association, has the right to reparations as a party to the ECCC criminal proceeding against the senior Khmer Rouge leaders, should they be found guilty.

After initial review of the ECCC website and communications with ECCC officials, it is our understanding that the ECCC has at minimum these basic items of inventory for its 500 personnel (350 of these Cambodian):
  • 24 vehicles
  • 200 desktop and laptop computers
  • 25 photocopy machines
  • 50 printers and scanners
  • Telecommunications and communications systems (property of UN, according to Art. 1.3 of Supplementary Agreement Re Utilities, Facilities and Services)
  • Air conditioners
  • Televisions, screens, LCD projectors, video-conferencing equipments
  • Transcription equipments
  • Video cameras
  • Office desks, chairs, tables, cabinets, bookshelves
It is also our understanding that (i) the Chambers may award only “collective and moral reparations to Civil Parties”, (ii) Article 39 of the ECCC Law to “be awarded against, and be borne by convicted persons” not to exclude the Cambodian government and the United Nations, parties to the laws and agreements establishing the ECCC in the provision of this collective and moral reparation as owners of the inventory (see ECCC Law Art. 44.1, 44.2, 44.4 New; Internal Rules 9.3 New), and (iii) any sensitive materials and data can be easily removed and protected before the handing over of the inventory.

Here, we would like to draw the attention of HE SOK An, Mr. Sean Visoth and his replacement Mr. Tony Kranh for the Cambodian government; Mr. Douglas Broderick and Mr. Knut Rosandhaug for the United Nations; and the donor states who are Friends of the ECCC.

In addition, we demand that provincial Learning Centers be established in each of the 24 provinces of Cambodia as part of our right to reparation and the legacy of memorializing and education. With all due respect, Phnom Penh was not the only crime scene; memorializing and resources need to include and respect the 85% of Cambodian victims who reside in the provinces. These provincial Learning Centers must be the joint efforts of local and national government with civil society and all the victims associations. Local government can donate land and office space while civil society and victims associations work to maintain and operate these Learning Centers. The Learning Center being established at Wat Samroung in Battambang with the involvement of the local community, assisted by the Center for Justice & Reconciliation and funded by the Australian Embassy is one existing example. The ECCC documents, the Virtual Tribunal, public forums and outreach materials produced by civil society and victims associations, art works are but some of the materials which can be made available at these provincial Learning Centers. These provincial Learning Centers would be furnished with the above-mentioned equipment and inventory.

Our demand for the ECCC inventory does not burden the ECCC with a new budget as they are items already financed and purchased. No one else has a greater moral and legal right to these equipment and inventory than the civil parties for the welfare of all the victims, including the new generation born after the Khmer Rouge who lost grandparents and other loved ones in addition to limited opportunities produced by the genocide. Moreover, the provincial Learning Centers do not pose a heavy financial burden, if at all, a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the national budget which can easily be legislated by the National Assembly. The benefits which these reparations of inventory and provincial Learning Centers impart toward reconciliation and legacy for the current and future generation are priceless.

We would like to thank the Center for Justice & Reconciliation (“CJR”) for facilitating our establishment and involvement in these public forums, CIVICUS Cambodia for co-organizing this particular forum, as well as the donors The Asia Foundation, the German Development Service and the Australian Embassy of these public forums, victims participation and the Battambang Learning Center.
For further information, please contact:
  • Ms. Theary C. SENG: Founding Advisor, Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia at 012.222.552 or
  • Mr. SOK Leang: Interim Director/Victims Outreach Manager, Center for Justice & Reconciliation at 012.588.081 or
For more information about:
  1. The Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia—the first association based in Cambodia to be registered with the Ministry of Interior and the first to be recognized by the ECCC Victims Support Section and independent of any political or religious affiliation—is a network of survivors of the 1975-79 killing fields who are joined in the fellowship of suffering, in the demand for justice, and in the work for a just peace. The members of the Victims Association are from overseas and spread across the provinces and capital of Cambodia, coming together as a result of the public forums conducted by its Founding Advisor Ms. Theary C. SENG and CJR Victims Outreach Manager Mr. SOK Leang since 2007. They include widows and orphans; former child soldiers and former prisoners; hard-working farmers and middle-class city-dwellers; well-known actresses playwrights, authors and journalists; as well as teachers, translators, security guards, taxi drivers, inter alia. Among the other members of the Victims Association is the Civil Party of Orphans Class, a special grouping officially recognized by the ECCC Victims Support Section and a party to the Extraordinary Chambers Case File No. 002 against the senior Khmer Rouge leaders.
  2. The Center for Justice & Reconciliation, a non-profit non-governmental organization registered with the Ministry of Interior, is founded by Ms. Theary C. SENG and senior staff to continue the work of the Center for Social Development on victims outreach, psycho-social support, court monitoring and radio broadcasting with seed funding and consultants from the German Development Service. Over the last year, CJR has conducted public forums in former Khmer Rouge strongholds to give a more concrete meaning to the term “reconciliation”.
  3. CIVICUS: Center for Cambodian Civic Education is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational, non-governmental organization registered with the Ministry of Interior dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in Cambodia and the larger, globalized world. Up to now, Cambodia has had only a society of “survivors”, not of “representatives” or “citizens”. Cambodians as survivors are either “survivor-authoritarian” if the person is in a position of power or “survivor-subject” if an average person. The principal goals of CIVICUS Cambodia are to help Cambodian citizens develop (i) an increased understanding of the institutions of Cambodian constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (ii) dialogue as a norm of communication, (iii) the skills necessary to participate as effective and responsible citizens, and (iv) the willingness and ease to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict. In its engagement of citizens, CIVICUS Cambodia gives a special emphasis to (i) students—from elementary to university level—and the generation born after the Khmer Rouge era, (ii) female (both girls and women) participation, and (iii) elected representatives. CIVICUS Cambodia has an official Memorandum of Understanding of partnership with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.


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