Case No. 002 - History of a verdict
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Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, two senior leaders of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, return to court on Friday two months after a UN-backed tribunal convicted them of crimes against humanity. Their victims recall the lengthy campaign to have them prosecuted.
In 2011, with the help of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), 10 Cambodian victims - now living in France - were ‘civil parties’ in the trial of the two most senior surviving officials of the Khmer Rouge regime. This is their story.
On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge entered the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and took over, staying in power until 1979.
Nearly a third of the country’s 7 million citizens died during those brutal four years.
Cambodia and the United Nations established the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in 2003 to prosecute high-ranking officials for crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.
On November 22nd, 2011, Khieu Samphan, former Head of State of the Democratic Kampuchea, and Nuon Chea, former President of the Assembly of the Democratic Kampuchea and chief ideologist of the regime, made their first court appearance. The two most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leaders stood accused of crimes against humanity. The trial is known as Case No. 002.
Close to 4,000 Cambodian victims participated as ‘civil parties’ within the ECCC criminal proceedings of the trial to seek collective and moral reparations.
On August 4th, 2014, the 10 travelled from France to Phnom Penh to attend the sentencing to witness the historic day they had been awaiting for over 40 years.