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Ieng Thirith, former Khmer Rouge Leader, Remains in Hospital, on Oxygen

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

Former Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith, center, Ieng Sary's wife, cries during the cremation ceremony of his husband at his home of a former stronghold of Malai, 420 kilometers (260 miles) from Cambodian-Thai border, file photo.

Former Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith, center, Ieng Sary's wife, cries during the cremation ceremony of his husband at his home of a former stronghold of Malai, 420 kilometers (260 miles) from Cambodian-Thai border, file photo.

The health of Ieng Thirith, the former social affairs minister for the Khmer Rouge, has improved, after three months in a Thai hospital, according to two sources close to her.

Ieng Thirith, 82, was found unfit to stand trial amid three other aging leaders at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal in 2011, and had been on feeding tubes and oxygen in recent months. She has been hospitalized in Thailand since March.

She remains in the hospital and still requires oxygen, her son, Ieng Vuth, told VOA Khmer.

Her lawyer, Phat Peou Seang, said she can sometimes breathe by herself, but problems remain in her lungs and kidneys. “And she is still pale,” he said.

The health of aging Khmer Rouge leaders is of ongoing concern, as many fear they will not face justice for crimes committed by the regime.

In 2012, Ieng Thirith’s husband, Ieng Sary, the former foreign affairs minister of the regime, died in tribunal detention.

Today, only two former leaders, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, remain to face an atrocity crimes trial.

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