A Friend of the Dead: Finding Justice in Cambodia

Luke Hunt speaks with academic Craig Etcheson, who played a key role in the establishment of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Luke Hunt
A Friend of the Dead: Finding Justice in Cambodia

From L to R, Former ECCC spokesperson Helen Jarvis, President of Genocide Watch Gregory Stanton and tribunal investigator Craig Etcheson outside the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

Craig Etcheson was a young American just out of college when he first decided to act against the atrocities committed by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

Around two million people had perished under their brutal rule, which began in April 1975 and ended in early 1979 with the invasion of Cambodian by Vietnamese forces.

In the 1990s, Etcheson’s studies pushed him toward a growing international movement calling for a tribunal capable of putting Pol Pot and his surviving henchmen in the dock for crimes against humanity and genocide.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) was born and Etcheson served as an investigator with the Office of Co-Prosecutors between 2006 and 2012. Since then the ECCC has had its victories and proved deeply controversial at times.

Currently a Visiting Scholar at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Etcheson recently returned to Cambodia where he conducted a series of seminars as a Fulbright senior specialist with Pannasastra University.

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Luke Hunt can be followed on Twitter @lukeanthonyhunt