Complainants Want To “Re-complain” Against the Genocidal Regime
Posted by khmernews on March 4, 2008
Banteay Meanchey-Porsat: The people who once submitted and put their fingerprints in the complaints through the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea (UFNSK) in 1982 want to re-complain against the leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea genocidal regime. They are amongst more than 1 million complainants who co-complained the Khmer Rouge leaders after the trial of Pol Pot and Ieng Sary.
Uncle Ream Tum, 64, said February 9, “I with tens of villagers in Kong Va filled in complaint forms and put our fingerprints in 1982 to complain against the genocidal regime of Pol Pot and Ieng Sary. Now I want to lodge complaint once again with tribunal and other villagers do the same.”
Ream Tum is a former chief of Sameki 4 Cluster, and he has worked as the village chief of Kong Va, Kompong Svay commune, Serei Sorphorn district, Banteay Meanchey province from 1984 till present.
He said that in 1981-1982 cadres and staff from the UFNSK in Battambang province and Serei Sorphorn district conducted a campaign to collect completed complaint forms and the fingerprints against the genocidal regime. Ream Tum wants to know whether their complaints submitted through the Front in 1982 would be valued or resurrected when there is the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to try former senior leaders and people most responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime. If it is, he and the people want to re-complaint to seek justice.
The former complainant almost thought that those complaints had been cancelled since the 7 January, 1979 victory backed by Vietnamese voluntary troops was not strongly supported by the international community, nor were the results of the trial of Pol Pot and Ieng Sary, charged with genocidal grimes in August, 1979. At that time the collection of the names and fingerprints of the victims of the Pol Pot’s regime in an attempt to convince the United Nations and other international communities to recognise the legality of Phnom Penh’s government toppled the Pol Pot’s regime was not officially recognized also.
However, Youk Chhang, Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), said that the complaints of the Cambodian victims in 1982 have been re-activated. “The process against Democratic Kampuchea genocidal regime at that time was a “Truth Commission”,” said Youk Chhang, adding that the commission was named “Pol Pot’s Crimes Investigation” committee, created by the Country Council of the United Front for National Reconstruction and Protection of Cambodia in a notice no. 1619-82 krs, dated October 2, 1982.
The 1,166,307 victim complaints against the Pol Pot’s regime in 1982 will also be valued in the current Khmer Rouge tribunal or the ECCC.
Uncle Ream Tum also wants justice for the killings of 3 of his brothers and other 7 of relatives. His brothers were killed by the Khmer Rouge and buried in sawdust at Mongkol Borei Wood Factory (former Businessman Yor’s Sawmill) while the 7 relatives were killed through beating and starvation.
Uncle Chey Seng and Kheum Pai, currently living in Chrey Kruem, Phteah Rung commune, Kravanh district, Pursat province, also want to re-activate their complaints in which they had registered and fingerprinted in 1982 though the Front against the leaders of the Pol Pot’s regime. However, at that time those complaints were issued against only the genocidal crimes, unlike the present Khmer Rouge tribunal which charges the leaders and people most responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime with crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The ECCC, which has been established to try the leaders and those most responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime, will scrutinise all the evidence, complaints and witnesses of the surviving victims. And that is the participation of the victims in the process of the Khmer Rouge tribunal. Those victims can show evidence such as documents, scars on their bodies, mass graves, locations of prisons or killing fields, and speeches or other testimonies to the Co-Prosecutors and the accused people’s lawyers.
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, vol. 16, #4512, Sunday-Monday, February 10-11, 2008.