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Khmer Rouge Tribunal Re-Launches Radio Program


Khieu Samphan, second from right, former Khmer Rouge head of state, and Noun Chea, left, who was the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist and No. 2 leader, is seen on a screen at the court's press center of the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, file photo.

Khieu Samphan, second from right, former Khmer Rouge head of state, and Noun Chea, left, who was the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist and No. 2 leader, is seen on a screen at the court's press center of the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, file photo.

The program will be a weekly production between tribunal staff and the media center, broadcasting updates on court matters each Thursday, 6 pm to 7 pm, at FM102.

The UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal re-launched a radio program this month, broadcasting news from the court via the Women’s Media Center in Phnom Penh.

The program, “Khmer Rouge Leaders on Trial,” has had two earlier iterations, but it will now be a weekly production between tribunal staff and the media center, broadcasting updates on court matters each Thursday, 6 pm to 7 pm, at FM102.

The program will be produced in the style of a talk show, with guest speakers from the court appearing each week to field questions from listeners.

The last program, for example, including information on the current phase of the trial of former leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, who are facing charges of genocide, for Khmer Rouge atrocities committed against Cham Muslims and ethnic Vietnamese.

Diep Sophal, a history professor at the University of Cambodia, said the radio program will allow the public to have interactive discussions with experts. But he said guests should also be broadened, to discuss history, for psychology, to help victims who remain traumatized to this day.

“If you are one of the victims and able to express what you feel, it is the best medicine to cure your pain,” he said. “This is important because it hurts when you keep your pain inside for too long.”

And while tribunal officials say the program will be geared toward a general audience, Diep Sophal said they should consider targeting it toward students, who must learn more about Cambodian history. This can help prevent another catastrophe, he said, and will be good for the country’s “future leaders.”

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