Over 275,000 Cambodians live in the United States and almost 10,000 Cambodians live in Minnesota alone. Many people survived the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge regime and want to see those responsible held accountable for their crimes against humanity. These resources have been compiled specifically for people interested in becoming more aware of and engaged with the activities of the tribunal charged with bringing Khmer Rouge leaders to justice.
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KHMER ROUGE TRIBUNAL BACKGROUND
Brief History: Approximately 1.7 million Cambodians died under the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia between April 1975 and January 1979. The Cambodian government eventually realized that justice for the victims of the Khmer Rouge would be a step toward the redevelopment and healing of the nation and asked the United Nations for assistance with prosecuting the Khmer Rouge leaders. After lengthy negotiations, the parties created the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (the ECCC). The ECCC’s first investigation commenced in 2007.
Role of the ECCC: The ECCC is truly a one-of-a-kind international court. It is a domestic Cambodian court with Cambodian legal procedure but is comprised of both Cambodian and international lawyers and judges who enforce domestic and international laws. The United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) supports the international legal community at the ECCC. UNAKRT assists the ECCC with the prosecution of the senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge and those who were most responsible for serious violations of international law and Cambodian domestic law.
Who will be held responsible? The Cambodian government and the UN finally agreed that the ECCC would bring to trial senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea and those who were most responsible for the crimes and serious violations of Cambodian penal law, international humanitarian law and custom, and international conventions recognized by Cambodia, that were committed during the period from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979.
The ECCC has explained why it is limiting its prosecution to senior leaders and those most responsible: Over the years, tens of thousands of ordinary Khmer Rouge soldiers have defected to the government. They have nothing to fear from this court. The policy of national reconciliation is still in place… [O]nly the most culpable people will be tried under the law governing the Extraordinary Chambers. By not prosecuting people who had worked as low- and mid-level leaders of the Khmer Rouge, the ECCC emphasized to Cambodians that peace and reconciliation are important priorities.
Who are the accused?
What is the role of the victims? Victims of the Khmer Rouge regime serve important functions as civil parties and witnesses in the trials.
Voices of Survivors
Survivors & Health Effects
How to Apply as a Civil Party at the ECCC: Any person, who can demonstrate that he or she has suffered physical, material or psychological injury as a direct consequence of at least one of the crimes prosecuted before the ECCC, may apply to become a Civil Party. Victims wishing to apply as civil parties should contact the ECCC Victims Support Section at telephone numbers 011 855 023 214 291 or 011 855 097 742 4218 (helpline).
The Advocates for Human Rights
Global Voices Advocacy provides tools for advocacy blogging and online advocacy campaigns.
Tactical Technology Collective offers several toolkits and guides to support a variety of advocacy strategies.
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