Applaud Government for Prosecuting War Criminals

skulls of khmer rouge victims

Target: Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen

Goal: Congratulate the government of Cambodia for prosecuting two former members of the Khmer Rouge regime for crimes against humanity

Cambodia’s recent decision to convict two former members of the Khmer Rouge for crimes against humanity is an important step forward for the country’s human rights record. The trial will be held at the UN-established Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Hopefully, survivors of the Khmer Rouge’s brutality will find some closure in this decision to prosecute. The Cambodian government must do all it can to ensure that the trial at the ECCC is fair and impartial, as recent cases held at the ECCC have been plagued by accusations of government interference and lack of cooperation by witnesses.

The two officials, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, were given life sentences. Chea, now 88 years old, was the second in command of the Khmer Rouge while Samphan was the former Head of State. Eighty-three-year-old Samphan was charged with the forced displacement of communities in Phnom Penh as well as the execution of soldiers captured by Khmer Rouge fighters. Chea is also accused of numerous counts of extrajudicial execution.

Four thousand victims have been added to the case, and all have the ability to request investigative acts and question witnesses. The ECCC is the first international criminal court to allow such participation by victims. Hopefully this sense of openness will allow the people of Cambodia to heal some of the wounds still felt by the genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge government. Sign this petition to congratulate Cambodia on bringing charges against these former Khmer Rouge officials.


Dear Prime Minister Hun Sen,

Prosecuting Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan for their crimes against humanity is an important first step in the closure of this dark chapter of Cambodian government. You and your colleagues should be congratulated for having the courage to prosecute these men for their despicable actions. I ask that you do not stop with these two officials and continue to charge those responsible for the genocide.

There are disturbing reports that cases against four additional suspects have been held up by political interference. This is a violation of international treaties to which your government is a party. Please do all that you can to remove the roadblocks in front of these cases and allow prosecution to continue and help the citizens of your country find closure.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: istolethetv via Wikimedia Commons

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