The war crimes trial in Phnom Penh comes three decades after one of history’s bloodiest upheavals. Human rights activists say they hope for some sort of closure for crimes long ingrained in Cambodia’s collective psyche.
A leading representative of victims conveyed her revulsion of the accused.
Theary Seng, President of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia, asked “what gave them that right to play with lives so easily? Do they think, did they really think they were gods?”
The slow pace of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), created in 2005, has sorely frustrated many, the foremost among them: survivors of atrocities and their families.
A 38-year old Cambodian Tuktuk driver said: “Whenever there is a Khmer Rouge trial, I feel happy because they killed my father in front of my mother. I saw it with my own eyes.”
More than 20,000 ex-Khmer Rouge soldiers and workers live freely in Cambodia and the current government includes many former high level revolutionaries.