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High Rate of Khmer Rouge Sexual Violence Among Ethnic Minorities

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, ECCC.
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, ECCC.
Ethnic minorities experienced a high rate of sexual assault during the Khmer Rouge period, a new survey indicates.

The survey, conducted by the Cambodian Defenders Project, found that some 60 percent of 105 surveyed respondents experienced some form of sexual violence under the Khmer Rouge.

More than three quarters had witnessed a form of sexual violence, most often rape, the organization said Monday.

Respondents included those from the Cham Muslim, ethnic Vietnamese and Khmer Kampuchea Krom groups. Some 80 percent of the respondents, most of whom were women, discussed rape, and another quarter discussed sexual slavery.

Sin Sovorn, a lawyer for civil parties at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, said the research would be helpful at the upcoming trial for leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, as well as potential trials in the future.

“We expect that it will be a benefit for all parties concerned,” tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said Monday.

In April, the international prosecutor at the tribunal, Nicolas Koumjian, requested further investigation into Khmer Rouge sexual violence in Case 004, which has yet to be prosecuted.