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Muslim Leaders to File Complaints With Tribunal

A coalition of Cham Muslims has begun to build a number of legal complaints to be passed to the tribunal courts, for hardships and death their people suffered under the Khmer Rouge.

Violent nationalism and paranoia were hallmarks of the regime, and many minorities, including Chams and Vietnamese, suffered at the hands of the cadre.

The leaders "plan to file complaints to the court over the crimes that happened to [Cham Muslims], and some others may file complaints for collective compensation," said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which aided the Muslim leaders with their complaint.

An estimated 300,000 Cham Muslims died under the regime, between 1974 and 1979, about 70 percent of the group's population, Youk Chhang said.

At least 300 mosque leaders joined the program, claiming they want compensation and justice for the treatment of the Chams under the regime.

Top Cham leaders will meet US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli Thursday, the embassy said.

The groups will discuss tribunal developments and "an outreach program" that will aid the filing of a complaint at the courts, the statement said.