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Protest march urges quick trial of Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia

Protest march urges quick trial of Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia

Some 600 protesters, including Buddhist nuns and Cambodian Muslims, marched in the capital Tuesday to urge a speedier trial for former leaders of the murderous Khmer Rouge.
A long-delayed, United Nations-backed tribunal is seeking accountability for atrocities during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule, under which an estimated 1.7 million people died from starvation, disease, overwork and execution.
The marchers, with students and Buddhist monks also among them, walked some five kilometers (3 miles) to the tribunal's office on Phnom Penh's outskirts.
"If the process of the trial continues to be too slow, then the aging former Khmer Rouge leaders will be die before facing trial," said Yin Kean, a 72-year-old nun. "I wish to see these leaders taken to court soon so that they will reveal who is responsible for the deaths of Cambodians under their regime."
The genocide trials are scheduled to begin next year. Five high-ranking former leaders are in detention after being charged with crimes against humanity and other charges.
Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath welcomed the marchers.
"Their presence here is a very significant step, showing that this court has received support from the entire Cambodian population," he said.


Updated : 2021-05-07 19:30 GMT+08:00