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Amnesty International Calls on Tribunal Jurists to Meet Global Standards

The rights group Amnesty International called on Khmer Rouge tribunal jurists meeting this week to ensure the trials will meet international standards.

Twenty-nine Cambodian and international judges and prosecutors are meeting this week to agree on internal rules for a tribunal, after stalled talks and long delays jeopardizing the trial.

Amnesty said it was concerned that draft rules being discussed "failed to establish an effective mechanism to provide protection and support to victims and witnesses," were inconsistent with international law standards on reparations for victims, and failed "to ensure the protection and support of survivors of sexual violence." International standards that bar trials in absentia had not been included in the draft rules.

Tribunal co-prosecutor Chea Leang said those concerns had already been addressed in the rules draft.

"The first meeting addressed Cambodia law," she said. "The second meeting addressed international standards. So the points on international standards have been included in the internal rules, and when you want international standards, what more do you want?" She declined further comment while meetings continued.

Hisham Mousar, a legal expert for the rights group Adhoc, who is monitoring the tribunal, said Amnesty's concerns could be addressed following the adoption of the internal rules, especially regarding victim, witness and perpetrator rights.