Chilling Evidence in Khmer Rouge Trial
Image Credit: Wikicommons

Chilling Evidence in Khmer Rouge Trial


Chilling evidence surrounding the barbarity of the Khmer Rouge leadership continues to mount at the Extraordinary Chambers for the Courts in Cambodia where three of Pol Pot’s senior henchmen – Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, and Ieng Sary — are back before a bench of local and international judges.

This time the evidence was delivered by 61-year-old Em Ouen who worked as a medic during 1977 and 1978 and testified he had seen live humans being used for medical experiments, instead of corpses, while in Sector 20, a Khmer Rouge provincial base at Prey Veng southeast of Phnom Penh.

He described how, as a trainee, he was forced to stand and watch as fingers and limbs were amputated saying, “And the whole body would be chopped or operated and cut into pieces and put into a bag to be discarded.”

His testimony earned the Khmer Rouge, who reigned over Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, comparisons with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust or Japanese medical experiments carried out on Chinese prisoners during World War II, among long-time observers and in the local media.

Em Oeun’s father was a doctor and he had learned enough about medicine while growing-up to make himself useful to local Khmer Rouge, which sent him to work in a hospital and then onto Phnom Penh where he was taught some medical basics.

In the capital, medicine was in short supply and had been scavenged from deserted pharmacies after the city was evacuated by the ultra-Maoists with the population forced into labor camps in the country-side where Pol Pot claimed he was building an agrarian utopia.

As such most of the patients in the city were officials, and those who curried favor with the leadership. Back in Prey Veng a different story had evolved. It was here that people labeled as spies, enemies of state, or had close ties to the previous regime had been taken after being sentenced to death.

But unlike the Killing Field- where people were killed en-masse usually with an ox-cart axel to the nape of the neck- these people were cut open alive under the macabre guise of medical experiments designed to teach young Khmer Rouge medicine.

His testimony was not a total surprise. During the first Khmer Rouge tribunal of Kang Guek Eav, also known as Duch, the court heard how prisoners at the S21 torture and extermination camp had been kept alive just enough to provide blood for transfusions needed for wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

Torture at S21 — including electrocution, water boarding, starvation and long periods of being shackled in order to obtain a forced confession — had become synonymous with the trial.

Duch was jailed for life on appeal after being found guilty of crimes against humanity and the deaths of at least 12,000 people at S21. The actual S21 death toll has been estimated to be much higher, probably around 24,000 people.

The trial continues.

Kim's Uncle
February 2, 2013 at 13:59

CCP is the inspiration of the Khmer Rouge! Two heads of the same monster!

Kangmin Zheng
August 29, 2012 at 23:12

CCP was behind these horrible crimes.   Pretty much the same things were occurred during Cultural Revolution.  
Mao singled out nine categories of enemies: landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements, rightists, traitors, foreign agents, capitalist roaders and—the Stinking Ninth—intellectuals. In the fight against "class enemies" and "bourgeois reactionaries," teachers, people with a college degree or relatives overseas, workers, and members of minority groups such as Tibetans, were all targeted.
-Mao announced that the Cultural Revolution would “thoroughly expose the reactionary bourgeois stand of those…who oppose the party and socialism.” Children of landowners were thrown into trash cans. Families who lived in large houses where squeezed into single rooms as their possessions were smashed by Red Guards and poor families moved into the other rooms. Families that held on to their deeds were later able to reclaim their entire houses. Many however handed over their deeds to the government in effort to avert further persecution.
-People were accused of being class enemies for doing the simplest of things: forgetting a slogan from The Little Red Book, wearing Western clothes, seeking repayment of a debt or hoarding a piece of meat. Entire schools of elite musicians and teams of athletes were sent to labor camps. Intellectuals were kept in prisons called cow sheds.The only time they saw their spouses was during annual conjugal visits.
- Peasants deemed “antisocial” were forced to stand for hours with their heads in the kowtow position, begging for forgiveness. Senior officials had their heads shaved, dirty gloves stuffed on their mouths, and ink and paint splashed on their faces. They were often forced to stand, bowing, with insulting signs hung from their necks.
-Many hostile acts were taken by attackers seeking revenge, avenging a grudge or acting out of jealousy. People could make trouble for neighbors they resented for some reason or another by spreading rumors about them. If someone was jealous about another’s Flying Pigeon bicycle he could make a few comments about “bourgeois tendencies” to local units of Red Guards.
CCP is using Cambodia to play a dirty political trick again.

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