06/27/2011, 00.00
CAMBODIA

Trial of the four major Khmer Rouge leaders opens in Phnom Penh

They are accused of genocide for having killed two million people, a fourth of the entire population. The court, supported by the UN, moves very slowly, in fact it is barley tolerated by the government.
Phnom Penh (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The trial for genocide against four major Khmer Rouge leaders still alive opened yesterday in Phnom Penh.

The four, charged with the death of nearly two million people, are Nuon Chea, "Brother Number Two", the head of state security, 84, Khieu Samphan, the former president, 79, Ieng Sary, "Brother number three", former foreign minister, 85, and his wife Ieng Thirith, former minister of social affairs, 79. Another of those responsible for genocide, Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, in charge of the S-21prison of Tuol Sleng, where 15 thousand people were tortured and killed, was sentenced in 2010 to 35 years in prison. Pol Pot, the "Brother Number One", died in 1998.

The Khmer Rouge regime ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, with the goal of fully realizing the Marxist utopia. Everything was collectivized, the cities emptied, money abolished, intellectuals sent to "learn" the cultivation of the earth. All enforced by violence, torture and executions that cost the lives of one quarter of the population of the country.

The regime was ousted by a Vietnamese attack.

The court, supported by the United Nations, is moving very slowly, in fact it is barley tolerated by the government, whose Prime Minister Hun Sen, himself a former member of the Khmer Rouge, has told the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, other charges will not be permitted.
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