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Cambodians watch Khmer trial

As the trial of a former Khmer Rouge leader opens in Phnom Penh, Cambodians have been queuing to attend the court.

Here people across the country give their reaction to the trial.


SOTHEA THAI, 30, WEB EDITOR, PHNOM PENH

sOTHEA tHAI

I was born in 1980 after the Khmer Rouge was toppled by Vietnamese troops - I'm part of the first generation after the regime's fall.

I think most of Cambodia's younger generation are eager to know the truth behind what happened.

We want to hear from the killers why they killed people during their rule. We're seeking explanations for what went on. A lot of time has passed so I have never thought about revenge but explanations.

Even in my village people who used to be the men of the Khmer Rouge still live together with the victims. That is the reality of Cambodia today.

Frankly, my family did not lose anyone during that regime. So maybe my feeling is different from people who lost their loved ones. But what is most important to me is a clear explanation of the history of that time.

We can learn from that experience to prevent that type of killing from happening in the future.

I just want truth to to come out of the trial.

PUTHYWONG, 26, IT WORKER, RATNAKIRI

puthywong
I want the people who were killed to get what they need. Their families and descendants are all still here.

The killers need to pay for what they have done to those families. I think this trial is about punishment. These people have done very bad things to Cambodia and the Cambodian people.

My grandparents died in that time. My grandfather was a policeman and when the Khmer Rouge found out about this they murdered him.

Because my father was so young he was spared. I have visited Tuol Seng, the prison where Duch [Khmer Rouge defendant] was the head. I was very scared by it.

People in Phnom Penh know all about this trial. We send each other the links, but in the provinces there is not much information.

TUY BUNNARA, PNOMH PENH, 46

I want to see the trial conducted fairly.

But I was alive at that time and many of my family died under the Khmer Rouge. They killed so many relatives and I remember it all.

I want to see those remaining Khmer Rouge members properly tried and I want to see a Cambodian court punish them.

I trust the trial because I trust that Cambodian courts can judge. But I don't have much information about the court and how it works. I wish I had a bit more.

Also, I really feel that I want an explanation for what happened at that time.

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SEE ALSO
Khmer Rouge leaders facing trial
13 Feb 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Ex-Khmer Rouge minister in court
21 May 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Khmer Rouge leader seeks release
23 Apr 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Khmer Rouge leader 'enacts role'
26 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Tribunal views from Khmer Rouge town
09 Jun 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge regime
19 Sep 07 |  Asia-Pacific


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