Cambodia awaits verdict on ex-Khmer Rouge leaders


PHNOM PENH: Haunted for decades by the death of 46 relatives under the Khmer Rouge, Ung Simonavy is hoping to find some solace this week when Cambodia’s United Nations-backed court delivers verdicts on two former regime leaders for the first time. “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea and former head of state Khieu Samphan—the most senior surviving ex-Khmer Rouge officials—will on Thursday discover their fate for the roles they played in the brutal communist regime. In April 1975, two million Cambodians were forced from their homes in the capital Phnom Penh and into rural work camps as part of a plan to forge an agrarian utopia. Among them was Ung Simonavy. While she survived nearly four years of hard labor in paddy fields, most of her family members were executed or starved to death.



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