Cham-Muslims File Complaint Against Pol Pot Regime

Posted by khmernews on November 6, 2007

Neth Pheaktra

Supported by the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), around 300 Cham-Muslims (Cambodian-Muslims) who are the representatives of all Cham-Muslims throughout Cambodia filed complaint on October 25 against the Democratic Kampuchea regime believed to have caused the deaths of almost 2 million people through execution, torture, starvation, and forced labour. Cham-Muslims lost a lot of family and relatives during the regime.
“The complaints the Cham-Muslims have filed will be submitted to the Offices of Co-Prosecutors and Co-Investigating Judges on Monday, [October] 29,” said Youk Chhang, director of the DC-Cam.

Through leaders of Islamic mosques from around Cambodia, the DC-Cam is also encouraging other people to file a complaint with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Joseph A. Mussomeli, US ambassador to Cambodia, has appreciated the recent progress of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, but also criticised some problems including the corruption.

Concerning the submitting of the legal complaint from Cham-Muslims, the ambassador said, “With the filing of these cases, the Cham are re-claiming a part of their identity so clearly linked to Cambodia’s history for hundreds of years.  Though the Khmer Rouge leadership tried mightily to “smash” your religion and traditions, you endured and are flourishing once again in a more open, tolerant Cambodia.”

“These victims’ filings will serve two important objectives: memory and justice.  Under Democratic Kampuchea the Cham mortality rate was more than twice that of the general population.  Because they defended their faith and their customs, the Cham were singled out as “first category enemies” by the Khmer Rouge,” stressed Joseph A. Mussomeli.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Somne Thmey, #133, Monday-Sunday, October 29-November 4, 2007.


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