Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Witness recalls vow to ‘kill all the Cham’



Witness recalls vow to ‘kill all the Cham’

Witness recalls vow to ‘kill all the Cham’

The Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday continued hearing evidence of the alleged targeted persecution of the Cham Muslim minority under the Pol Pot regime, though witness Seng Kuy’s testimony was at times marked by apparent speculation.

Nuon Chea defence counsel Victor Koppe made good on his pledge yesterday to not question Kuy, leaving questioning to Anita Guisse and Kong Sam Onn, counsel for Khieu Samphan.

Speaking about events that occurred after 1975 in Angkor Ban II, located in Kang Meas district, Kuy – who is ethnically Khmer – said that he was assigned farm work, specifically ploughing, and took his meals with about 600 others. Around 1976, he said, five to six Cham families arrived in his village.

“They were placed there to live and work with Khmer people,” he told the court.

However, the Cham men were sent to work in mobile units elsewhere. Eventually, only about 10 Cham people remained in the commune.

The remaining Chams, Kuy continued, were arrested by “communal forces” dressed in black with scarves around their necks, under the authority of Run, a cadre referred to by villagers as “the butcher”.

Those roundedup were taken to the Au Trakuon pagoda security centre.

“When Run arrested those Cham people, they said, ‘We will kill all the Cham people, and not spare anyone’,” Kuy said.

Based on this, Kuy said, it was his “observation” that the Khmer Rouge wanted to eliminate minority ethnicities such as the Cham people and Vietnamese, adding that after 1979, there were no more Cham Muslims in Angkor Ban commune.

He admitted, however, that he did not actually know what the radical communist regime did to these people.

President Nil Nonn chided Kuy for airing this conclusion in a court of law, saying that he was not an expert and therefore not in a position to speculate.Court is due to resume on September 14.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and