Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sam Rainsy requests for the protection of witnesses and suspects

Sam Rainsy, Opposition leader (Photo: RFA)

21 July 2006
By Phan Sophat
Radio Free Asia

Translated from Khmer by KI-Media

The opposition leader in Cambodia had requested on 21 July for the strong protection of both the health and the security of all witnesses and potential suspects so that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) can reach fruitful results in the search for justice for the victims.

Mr. Sam Rainsy made the declaration following the death of Ta Mok, the former Khmer Rouge army chief, in the military hospital on Friday morning. Ta Mok was 80-year-old and he was incarcerated for 7 years after his arrest.

Mr. Sam Rainsy said that the Royal Government of Cambodia must guarantee the immediate security and health protection for the witnesses and the suspects so they can present themselves to the tribunal: “The witnesses or the suspects must be gathered and brought to live in a secure area, and we must look after their well-being, their security, and their health. There must be no attempt made on their life, and they should not be able to escape.”

In reaction to the request of the opposition leader, Khieu Kanharith, the government spokesman, said that there is no need to worry on such issue: “The KR leaders, they stay in hospital, they have more personal doctors than ordinary people. There is no need to worry on this issue. They have their well-being, try to go to Pailin and ask for their homes, see how easy it is to find, they have two or three [places]… If the tribunal wants to set something else, it can do so…”

Nevertheless, NGO officials also demanded for necessary special protection of former Khmer Rouge leaders who could be tried.

Thun Saray, Adhoc NGO Director, said that the KRT will meet difficulties if they lose important characters: “This is an important issue if the the KRT need these people, and these people die one by one, it is very regrettable and the KRT will have difficulties.”

Thun Saray also said that in addition to the special protection for the former KR leader, the speed up of the KRT work is also necessary.

The KR regime was accused of killing almost 2 million people during its reign between 1975 and 1979.

Besides Ta Mok who just passed away, the other remaining famous KR are: Duch, the Tuol Sleng jail warden, Khieu Samphan, the former head of state, Ieng Sary, the former minister of foreign affairs, and Nuon Chea, known as “Brother No. 2” right after Pol Pot. Most of them are very old already.


Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that Sam Rainsy waits for a regrettable loss to occur to make a request for the protection. Why didn't he or anyone else asked for that special protection and more treatment for Ta Mok while he was ill?

Anonymous said...


Politicians do what we want. Look at The old King's opinion. Is he positive or nagative about the trail? The current government was pretty much undecide or WEREN'T THEY? Counting on the The population's voices? I wouldn't. Many of our cambodian people are very very poor or traped. They don't have any access to news or media to get the right information and make decision. They cann't even able to make the end meets. Everyone is pretty much in a limbo mode and silent.

In my opinion, if The UN thinks that the trail is necessary and important enough, please use some of the money to provide proper housing, proper protection and food and medication or Health Care to really save those that will be involved in the trail. We already know who will be putting on trail. why wait until next year? Please let the show begins and tell the world who is in charge here!!!

Please do and tell them that you really mean business!!! or just continue to let those people loose and the $56 millions will be going out the windows. That is all.