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Tribunal Witness Describes Fatal Return of Many Intellectuals

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

Many of the Cambodian intellectual from abroad lived in Boeung Trabek prison camp, located in Phnom Penh.

Many of the Cambodian intellectual from abroad lived in Boeung Trabek prison camp, located in Phnom Penh.

Some 1,500 intellectuals from abroad perished under the Khmer Rouge, having moved back to the country.

PHNOM PENH - Some 1,500 intellectuals from abroad perished under the Khmer Rouge, having moved back to the country at the request of the regime only to die or be killed, a witness told the UN-backed tribunal Wednesday.

Ong Thong Hoeung, 67, an economics student who left France for Cambodia in 1976, said only about 200 intellectuals who heeded the call for return survived.

“Some of them living in France sold houses, left their children and wives, expecting to help rebuild Cambodia,” he said. “I believed the Khmer Rouge.”

He was sent to the Boeung Trabek prison camp in Phnom Penh with other intellectuals, where many died.

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