The rights group Adhoc has begun a nationwide initiative that will call for Khmer Rouge victims to bring complaints to its provincial offices, in an effort to help victims collaborate in tribunal proceedings.
Experts warn that victims are being excluded from the tribunal process, and a Victims Unit at the tribunal has yet to open its doors. That has meant rights groups like Adhoc have had to help victims register complaints against the five Khmer Rogue leaders now being held on atrocity crimes charges.
Hisham Mousar, legal expert for Adhoc, said Thursday the organization decided to move forward with their national plan after talks with officials to ensure the tribunal could handle the high number of complaints such a program could yield.
“We met yesterday with [Adhoc] officials from every province of the country, and we have decided to receive victim complaints by Dec. 7,” he said.
The group has already sent seven civil party complaints against prison chief Kaing Khek Iev, who went by the revolutionary name Duch, to the tribunal’s investigating judges, Hisham Mousar said, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”
Duch was the first Khmer Rouge leader to appear before the tribunal, in a public hearing in November; tribunal judges at that hearing refused to grant him bail ahead of atrocity crimes trials next year.
Adhoc will now work to ensure victims have a chance to be involved in the next public hearing, likely for chief ideologue of the regime, Nuon Chea, Hisham Mousar said.