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Pact Raises Hopes in Cambodia for Khmer Rouge Trials

Cambodian and U.N. negotiators reached tentative agreement today to create a tribunal to try former Khmer Rouge leaders for genocide, raising hopes for justice among Cambodians a quarter-century after the communist movement killed an estimated 1.7 million people. The draft accord, signed after five years of difficult negotiations, would set up a body in which foreigners and Cambodians would serve as judges and attorneys. The accord allows the prosecution of senior Khmer Rouge leaders and those “most responsible” for human rights violations, but did not name any suspects. Vann Nath, one of eight remaining survivors of the Tuol Sleng prison and torture center operated by the Khmer Rouge, welcomed the agreement. “It is not only I who need to see a trial, but all the victims, all the people of Cambodia,” said Vann Nath, a painter whose works testify to Tuol Sleng’s atrocities in excruciating detail. Full Story

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