Khmernews

If I Am Given Opportunity, I Will Sue Former Khmer Rouge Leaders

Posted by khmernews on January 4, 2007

Kompong Thom: “I have attempted to file a complaint to the Khmer Rouge tribunal against the former Khmer Rouge leaders for killing my husband and jailing and torturing me,” said Ms. Uch Vanny, 55, living in Thnal Baek village, Trapeang Russey commune, Kompong Svay district, Kompong Thom province. She added that if the Khmer Rouge tribunal gives her an opportunity, she will appear in the court as a witness.

She further said that she could not find a right word to describe about sufferings that she and other Cambodian victims experienced in such an inhumanity regime. The suffering always reminds her, and she could not forget it at all. She went on to say that in 1975 Angkar [Khmer Rouge leadership organization] married her to a man whose name was Lonh Choek and who was from Kompong Cham province. Angkar organized a wedding for seven couples in Kompong Chheu Teal village, located on the west river bank that was formerly known as Tang Krasao commune in Santuk district. She could not disagree with Angkar, but painfully forcing herself to accept the husband that was arranged by Angkar.

“After our arranged marriage, we built lots of good relationships and memories together for a period of time,” she asserted. She continued that she and her husband were evacuated to Prey Tahou village, Trapeang Russey commune, Kompong Svay district. While the evacuation, she gave a bird to a son. When the first son reached an age of 11 months, she got pregnant with her second child. She remembered that it might be in June 1976 that Angkar assigned her husband to work in a working site, and then he disappeared. She learnt that Angkar killed her husband on accusation of involvement in tendency of students’ petty bourgeoisie. Shortly after that, Angkar arrested and sent her to a special prison in Thnal Baek of Trapeang Russey commune. Questions that Angkar interrogated her over and over again were whether her husband had ever told her about any betrayal plan and how her husband committed the treason. Her answer to the questions was that she didn’t know. During the day time, she worked, and during the night time, she was jailed with her feet were handcuffed. This kind of torture had continued until she delivered her second child, in which her feet were handcuffed. Before Vietnamese soldiers arrived, she had grown her children in the prison, and then she and her children were sent to live in a cooperative. Of 70 prisoners, only seven survived.

She questioned that did she and her husband do something wrong and that is why the Khmer Rouge killed her husband and tortured her like animals? Due to this suffering, she warmly welcomed the tribunal for prosecution of the former Khmer Rouge leaders.

Ms. Uch Vanny further said that whenever the Khmer Rouge tribunal publicly allows victims to file lawsuits against the former Khmer Rouge leaders, she will be one of the victims making a complaint against them. Also, if she has an opportunity while the tribunal is operating, she will appear there as a witness.

Extracted from: Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.14, #4163, Wednesday 20 December 2006

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