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Groups Urge Donors to Fund Victims Unit

International donors should consider funding the failed Victims Unit of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, rights groups said Friday.

The court was supposed to have established a unit to allow victims easier participation in trials of former regime leaders, by helping them file briefs to the court or participate in suits. But the Victims Unit is not up and running, and victims have been left out of the process, two groups said.

“In order not to spend more time and money, all donors should support and fund the Victims Unit,” said Hisham Moussar, a tribunal observer for the rights group Adhoc.

The high number of potential victims of the regime mean a Victims Unit must be established, he said, adding that victims satisfied with the tribunal proceedings “will not seek justice anymore.”

Seng Theary, executive director of the Center for Social Development, said the US should participate in the Victims Unit “to encourage victims to actively participate in the legal process of the Khmer Rouge tribunal.”

Officials have said the US will not contribute funding to a tribunal that doesn’t meet international standards of justice.