Revisiting the Killing Fields

The trial of the first Khmer Rouge leader by the Cambodia Tribunal leaves Cambodians with a mix of relief and frustration.

Luke Hunt Reports for The Diplomat.

Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, stood as Judge Nil Nonn read the charge sheet. Around him, Muslim Chams and Buddhist monks sat patiently with ordinary Cambodians, diplomats, aid workers and journalists. Among them were hundreds of victims—survivors of the Khmer Rouge—who along with millions more across the country waited anxiously for the verdict.

Late last month, a freshly-built courthouse on the outskirts of Phnom Penh became the focus of justice in a nation craving admonishment of the Khmer Rouge and international recognition that atrocities committed here between April 1975 and January 1979 were indeed war crimes.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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