05/19/2017, 10.20
CAMBODIA

Memorial Day. Cambodians remember the victims of the Khmer Rouge

Almost no Cambodian family spared from the genocide. The day of memory is held early due to the election campaign. Strong tensions spread throughout the country. Prime Minister Hun Sen threatens civil war in the event of a defeat.

Phnom Penh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of people gathered in one of the most famous "Killing Fields" in Cambodia to remember victims of the genocide of at least 1.8 million Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge, in power from 1975 1979.

Most victims died of hunger as a result of torture, fatigue or illness in the work camps or killed during mass executions. In Choeung Ek, about 15 kms from the Cambodian capital, still today heavy rains today wash fragments of bones and shreds of victims' clothes in the common pits. A stack of skulls and bones is at the center of the memorial of an era in which almost no Cambodian family has been spared.

Usually, the day of memory, once known as "the Day of Anger", is celebrated on May 20, but this year was anticipated because of the campaign for the election of the June 4 next. Strong tensions are spreading throughout the country ahead of the vote.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge Governor who has been ruling for more than 30 years, has threatened a possible civil war if his Cambodian People's Party does not win the election. His opponents accuse him of using intimidating tactics and submission to maintain power.

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