Khmernews

Joint Statement : ECCC Needs More Funding

Posted by khmernews on June 23, 2008

The undersigned members of Civil Society in Cambodia are committed to the success of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), which is established by the Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia, and many of us are actively engaged in supporting the court through various activities including outreach and promoting victims participation, and monitoring the work of the ECCC.

With the current supports of the international community, the tribunal has made significant progress and has generated important discussion in Cambodia about the Khmer Rouge history. At the initial stage, the co-prosecutors have submitted names of five suspects and 25 crime sites to the co-investigating judges for judicial investigation. The court, with the assistance of local authorities, has arrested five suspects, charged them with crimes within the jurisdiction of the court, and is holding them in provisional pre-trial detention. The court has also officially accepted eleven civil parties and has received more than 1,300 applications from victims asking to participate in some levels in the legal proceedings.

Further, more suspects will be named at the ECCC as the Co-Prosecutor Robert Petit said in an interview printed in The Cambodia Daily newspaper on Friday June 13th 2008.

Through the efforts of the court and many organizations, “approximately 80 percent of the citizens of Cambodia are aware of the Court’s existence and its mission,” a recent survey by the National Democratic Institute found. This awareness is especially significant given the limited infrastructure and communication systems within the country. This figure is an indication that the tribunal is really relevant and important to the Cambodian people.

The Royal Government of Cambodia and the international donors should not let a lack of funds for the ECCC be a barrier to justice or a limitation to judicial independence and the due process of law. The ongoing participation of the international donors is necessary to ensure that the tribunal meets international standards of justice. Inadequate funding will weaken judicial independence and lessen the chances of achieving justice in Cambodia.

The members of civil society are therefore appealing to donors to fully fund the ECCC for its current budget request so that it has the best chance to fulfill its goal of providing the people of Cambodia a sense of justice and an example of fair and independent trials. The commitment of the international community to continue funding the ECCC is very vital to fight against impunity, and to restore the rule of law in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh, 19 June 2008
No. Name Organization Position Mobile
1. Mr. Thun Saray CHRAC/ADHOC Chairman/President 016 880509
2. Ms. Seng Theary CSD Executive Director 012 222552
3. Mr. Sok Sam Oeun CDP Executive Director 012 901199
4. Mr. Hang Chhaya KID Executive Director 012 865910
5. Mrs. Peung Yok Hiep LAC Executive Director 012 823745
6. Mr. Long Panhavuth CJI Program Officer 012 843647

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