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Cambodia Establishes Memorial Day for Khmer Rouge Victims


FILE: Cambodian students from the Royal University of Fine Arts re-enact torture executed by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror in the 1970s to mark the annual Day of Anger at Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "killing field" dotted with mass graves, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

The new memorial day forms part of a program of collective reparations provided by the Khmer Rouge tribunal, according to an official.

The government has established a national memorial day holiday to be held annually on May 20 in remembrance of the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled Cambodia between 1975 and 1979.

The new memorial day forms part of a program of collective reparations provided by the Khmer Rouge tribunal, according to an official.

“It is a part of reparations in case 002/01 which the victims have requested to the tribunal. The government has also received numerous requests from the victims through the National and International Civil Parties Lead Co-Lawyers under the coordination of the Victims Support Section to establish 20 May as the National Memorial Day,” Neth Pheaktra, a court spokesman, said.

The Khmer Rouge tribunal was established under the support of the United Nations in 2006 in order to seek truth and justice for the crimes that occurred in Democratic Kampuchea.

The tribunal, which is working on sentencing the highest-level Khmer Rouge leaders and other relevant suspects on case 002/02, sentenced Nuon Chea, a former prime minister, and Khieu Samphan, its head of state, to lifetime imprisonment on the charge of crimes against humanity and genocide.

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