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Cambodian Remembers Khmer Rogue Genocide Ahead of Trial

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Uploaded on Feb 11, 2009

ZHANG:
Next we have an insight in to what it was like in Cambodia when the Khmer Rogue was carrying out its acts of genocide in the late 70s. Sarah Matheson brings us the story.

STORY:
To look at Timothy Chhim, you cannot tell what he has lived through. He was in Phenom Phen, in April 1975, when the Khmer Rogue took the capital city.

He and his relatives were forced from their homes, and taken to the killing fields.

In this dark chapter of Cambodian history, one quarter of the population was executed. And every family was affected.

[Timothy Chhim, Khmer Rouge Victim]:
I was put in one camp, inside a temple. And a couple of days later they took us to another camp stationed about 10 kilometers away."

[Timothy Chhim, Khmer Rouge Victim]:
They told us that they needed us to go back to the capital city to receive Prince Sinook, Prince Sinook was at that time in Beijing."

[Timothy Chhim, Khmer Rouge Victim]:
We still didn't know that we were going to be sent to be killed.

When he realized they were actually taking people deep in to the jungle for execution, he ran. The soldiers started firing their guns at him.

[Timothy Chhim, Khmer Rouge Victim]:
Thats when I know that the reason they collect us was not for going back to the capital. All of those people were sent to be killed.

On February 17, former Khmer Rouge leader Duch is facing trial. But in a country where the Prime Minister is a former a member of the Khmer Rouge, many Cambodians feel justice is unlikely.

[Timothy Chhim, Khmer Rouge Victim]:
So this trial is for five people. The top leadership. Can you imagine that 1.7 million people is just being killed by five people and not anyone else is responsible for that? Its just not fair.

He says China and Russia have been covering the role that they played during the genocide.

[Timothy Chhim, Khmer Rouge Victim]:
Not too many people believe that the Chinese really want this trial completed.

[Timothy Chhim, Khmer Rouge Victim]:
The feeling is that justice is not going to be done.

This is Sarah Matheson, NTD, New York.

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