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Tribunal Must Consider Reparations: Victim

Seng Theary, head of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation.
Seng Theary, head of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation.

Reparation for victims of the Khmer Rouge should be a chief concern for the UN-backed tribunal in its eventual plans to bring hearings for senior leaders to a close, a civil party participant said Thursday.

Seng Theary, who has filed as a complainant in upcoming Case 002, said reparations should include a center in each of the nation's 24 provinces and municipalities to help bring reconciliation to the country.

“If we wait until the trials are finished, they'll forget it,” she said, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

“We're requesting the equipment of the [tribunal], as we know the Khmer Rouge court has a lot of materials, such as computers and vehicles,” she said. “This is a basic demand, and we will demand more than this. But to make it effective, the victims should make the requests.”

Tribunal judges are now preparing for Case 002, to try Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith for atrocity crimes committed while the Khmer Rouge was in power. But experts have also said administration officials should consider how they will wrap up the court when trials are finished.

Besides bringing senior leaders to trial, the tribunal was also meant to bring a measure of reconciliation to the country.

But the court did not do enough for victims following its first trial, for Tuol Sleng prison chief Duch, Seng Theary said.

Victims will need more, like a memorial stupa, education centers and preservation of prisons like Tuol Sleng, she said.