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Human Rights Commissioner welcomes start of trial of ex-Khmer Rouge leaders

16.02.2009 - Press release

Kaing Guek Leav, the director of the Pol Pot regime's infamous S21 torture prison, goes on trial in Phnom Penh on 17 February. In the German Government's view the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is making a crucial contribution to prosecuting and exposing the full truth about the extremely grave violations of human rights that took place in Cambodia.

Kaing Guek Leav, the director of the Pol Pot regime's infamous S21 torture prison, goes on trial in Phnom Penh on 17 February.

In this connection Günter Nooke, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued today (16 February) in Berlin the following statement:

"I welcome the start of the trial of one of the Pol Pot regime's top leaders. Following the arrest and surrender to the Tribunal in late 2007 of five Khmer Rouge leaders, the moment has come that the survivors of this horrific and oppressive regime have long been waiting for."

In the German Government's view the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is making a crucial contribution to prosecuting and exposing the full truth about the extremely grave violations of human rights that took place in Cambodia. The Tribunal was established in 2005 with the aim of investigating and prosecuting the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge over the period 1975-1979, which claimed over 1.7 million lives.

The German Government has pledged 6.8 million euro to date to support the work of the Tribunal. The Federal Foreign Office is also helping to fund the Tribunal's Victims Unit, which seeks to assist the victims in asserting their right to participate in the Tribunal's work.

Read more on Germany's bilateral relations to Cambodia:

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