|Up to 2 million people were executed or died from starvation, overwork or torture during the brutal reign of Khmer Rouge (AFP, Tang Chhin Sothy)|
CHOEUNG EK, Cambodia — More than 1,000 Cambodians attended an emotional re-enactment of a Khmer Rouge massacre at a "Day of Anger" memorial on Sunday, demanding swift justice for ex-regime leaders on trial.
The crowd, including monks and children, sombrely looked on as black-clad students graphically mimed the abuse and murder of victims near mass graves at a notorious "Killing Field" on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
"It reminded me of the day the Khmer Rouge took my husband away and killed him," Chuon Yorn, who lost nearly 20 of her family members during the communist movement's 1975-1979 rule, said after the annual event to remember the dead.
"I want the Khmer Rouge leaders to receive a serious punishment. I want justice very soon," the tearful 62-year-old told AFP, adding that she feared the octogenarian defendants would die before seeing a verdict.
The Khmer Rouge's three most senior surviving leaders are currently in the dock at a UN-backed court in the Cambodian capital for crimes against humanity and other atrocities.
One of the accused, ex-foreign minister Ieng Sary, was taken ill last week, underscoring concerns that the defendants' poor health could defeat attempts to secure justice for the victims.
Led by "Brother Number One" Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied cities and abolished money and schools in a bid to create an agrarian utopia.
Up to two million people were executed or died from starvation, overwork or torture during their brutal reign.
Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, had his initial 30-year prison sentence for overseeing the killings of some 15,000 people increased to life on appeal in February. He was the first person to face justice at the tribunal.