Khmer Rouge Communist Official Gets 19 Years For Overseeing 16,000 Deaths
Nearly 2 million people are believed to have been killed by the Khmer Rouge from 1975 through 1979.
Cambodian Buddhist monks lead the march heading to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007. Some 600 hundred protesters, including Buddhist nuns and Cambodian Muslims, marched in the capital Tuesday to urge a speedier trial for former leaders of the murderous Khmer Rouge.(AP/Heng Sinith)
A communist Khmer Rouge jailer was sentenced to 19 years in jail for overseeing the deaths of 16,000 people. That comes out to 2.3 days in prison for each person killed. He may walk free one day.
The AP reported:
A U.N.-backed tribunal sentenced the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer to 35 years for overseeing the deaths of up to 16,000 people — the first verdict involving a senior member of the “killing fields” regime that devastated a generation of Cambodians.
Victims and their relatives burst into tears after learning that Kaing Guek Eav — also known as Duch — will actually serve only 19 years after being convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity after taking into account time already served and other factors.
That means the 67-year-old could one day walk free, a prospect that infuriated many who have been demanding justice for victims of the regime that killed an estimated 1.7 million people between 1975-79.
“I can’t accept this,” said Saodi Ouch, 46, shaking so hard she could hardly talk. “My family died … my older sister, my older brother. I’m the only one left.”
More than three decades after the ultra-communist Khmer Rouge killed a quarter of Cambodia’s population while trying to turn the country into a vast agrarian collective, Duch is so far the only person to face justice. The group’s top leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998 and four other senior Khmer Rouge leaders are awaiting trial for their part in the deaths from execution, starvation, medical neglect and slave-like