First Quarterly Report, January - March, 2005

First Quarterly Report:

January - March 2005


This report describes the Documentation Center of Cambodia’s (DC-Cam) activities for the first quarter of 2005 (January to March). It also cites challenges to our work and our responses to them, and provides indicators of our performance.





We have grouped DC-Cam’s activities into five main categories. Our progress in each area for this quarter is summarized below.


Documentation. We catalogued 682 documents and keyed in more than 8,300 this quarter. In addition, we microfilmed 36,658 pages of our documents. Last, we have conducted several interviews for a new photo-archive book.


Promoting Accountability. With the prospects for the tribunal of senior Khmer Rouge leaders growing stronger, we have increased the number of interviews we conduct with survivors and former Khmer Rouge cadre (from 81 in the last quarter of 2004 to 114 the first quarter of 2005). We have also continued our outreach efforts with religious, ethnic, and student communities.


Public Education and Reconciliation Outreach. We have selected lawyers and graduate law students who will work with our summer 2005 legal training course, which will focus on defense counsels. In this quarter, we conducted 34 interviews for our Victims of Torture Project and worked with TPO, which provided individual/group therapy as well as psychiatric treatment to 93 people. Last, DC-Cam continued work on two new projects – Living Documents and Genocide Education – to reach out to communities, students, and religious and youth groups nationwide about the need to attain justice and preserve memory in relation to the Khmer Rouge regime.


Research, Translation, and Publication. Two new monographs have been edited and laid out, and are now ready for printing. Another is being edited.


Magazine and Radio. We have kept pace with the production of both the Khmer and English editions of our magazine. We have also continued our recently expanded radio broadcasts.


1.1       Documentation


1.1.1    Cataloguing and Database Management


Our documentation work has entailed collecting and cataloguing documents, and managing two major databases: the Cambodian Genocide Bibliographic Database (CBIB) and the Cambodian Genocide Biographical Database (CBIO). Both databases were developed by a team of academics, technicians, and documentation specialists at Yale University, DC-Cam, and the University of New South Wales. They hold information on both Khmer Rouge personnel and their victims. These databases also facilitate our program of family tracing, whereby survivors of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) era can search for information on lost loved ones. Because they are Internet-accessible and available on CD-Rom, expatriate Cambodians can also utilize them.


This quarter, our team continued entering data from the “D” collection for the CBIB database. This collection includes general Khmer Rouge documents ranging from notebooks to biographies, confessions, reports, and execution logs. It also encompasses the Anlong Veng (a Khmer Rouge stronghold until 1996) collection of such post-1979 Khmer Rouge materials as school textbooks, minutes of meetings, and reports.


In early June 2004, we began keying in items in the Khmer version of the D collection. The database fields vary depending on the type of document. For example, some of the fields for execution logs include the document’s title and number of pages, while those for cadre biographies include names, dates, personal background, rank, date of arrest, number of pages, and source of information. This quarter, we keyed 3,705 records into this searchable database, bringing the total number in Khmer to 11,645. We also keyed 4,654 records in English, bringing the total to 8,866.


This quarter we catalogued 682 “R” (Renakse) documents, bringing the total catalogued to date to 1,483. These are petitions made in the 1980s to the successor government (the Peoples Republic of Kampuchea) to oust the Khmer Rouge from their seat at the United Nations. Signed by millions of people, they include accounts of horrific crimes and describe mass burial pits, prisons, and other evidence of Khmer Rouge terror.



1st Quarter 2005

To Date

D Collection: keyed items (Khmer)



D Collection: keyed items (English)



R Collection: Cataloged documents



I Collection: Documents added to index book




Last year, we completed the cataloging of our D collection. We kept pace this quarter, keying over 4,600 items from this collection in Khmer and over 3,700 in English. We have thus catalogued half of the items in Khmer and one-third of those in English.


In addition, we have entered information from 9,500 completed documents in our D Collection (out of a total of 24,000) and 10,826 from our I collection (this collection contains biographies of Khmer Rouge cadre and prisoners) into Microsoft Access List, a program intended to ease public inquiry and research.


Finally, since late 2003, our documentation team has been preparing a printable index for our CBIO database, which contains 10,612 biographies of Khmer Rouge cadres and the general population. So far, we have worked on the field layout and design (name, gender, place and date of birth, names of mother and father). The index contains 2,800 pages at present, and will continue to grow as our Promoting Accountability and Victims of Torture teams add information.


This quarter marked our final decision to enter information from our documents into a new, more user-friendly database with increased capacity and a new format/field design. We will seek assistance on developing the database from experts who are members of our Affinity Group (see below).


1.1.2    Microfilming


Our Microfilming Project aims to preserve historical documents related to the Khmer Rouge. This process allows researchers and legal investigators to access our archival information without handling original documents, many of which have become fragile with age.


Last quarter, we completed microfilming the R collection. We also completed all of the D Collection microfilm (235 reels/176,406 pages). We will continue to microfilm documents as we acquire them.


This quarter, with our microfilm machines in-house and using a newly installed developer/duplicator, DC-Cam has begun to microfilm documents from its Promoting Accountability Team’s interviews.



1st Quarter 2005


To Date


PA Collection microfilm*



PA Collection microfilm development*



* began this quarter


From 1998 through 2004, we cooperated with Yale University’s Sterling Library on duplicating our microfilm records for security and academic purposes. We sent the negatives to the library to be developed; they kept the masters and returned a copy to us. We sent an average of 15 reels to Yale each quarter, and in our six years of cooperation with Sterling, sent and received 482 reels from our R, D, L, I, K and J collections.


This quarter, we began sending copies of our microfilmed materials to Rutgers University’s campus in Newark, New Jersey, where we recently opened an office. We a set of 93 microfilm reels and other materials available at DC-Cam to this office during the first quarter of 2005.


1.1.3    Photo Exhibitions


Our photographic exhibitions of former Khmer Rouge cadres and leaders, and of forensic evidence continue to be shown at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. This quarter, we began work on an exhibition from our monograph Stilled Lives: Photographs from the Cambodian Genocide. It will contain photographs and brief excerpts from the book that profile 17 people who joined the Khmer Rouge. Opening at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum on April 17, 2005, the exhibition will mark the 30th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge’s takeover of Cambodia.


A Recent Quote on DC-Cam’s Exhibitions from the Visitors’ Book at Tuol Sleng


“No matter what race we belong to, what religion we follow, which country we come from, we are all humans, one race, the children of God, we must treat each other as brothers. Hope God gives us all good knowledge of judgement and the feeling of humanity living within us.”


“With the evidence we already have, why must this genocide be allowed to continue? Iraq, Sudan, Zimbabwe, when will these barbaric leaders ever learn?”


“The lack of shame and regret on the part of those who contribute to the torturing and killings proves that something like this can happen again any time.”


“Never stop informing! It will stop people from committing crimes eventually – at least I hope so.”


“A good start on interpreting a very had subject. I hope that with time and patience – not to mention hard work – that this story will be revealed. In the revolution, killing can begin. I hope this museum is on the forefront of healing the Cambodian nation.”


We also contributed photographs to an exhibition that Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation is mounting at its headquarters in 2005. The exhibit, whose working title is “The Trauma of Terror and the Challenges of Coming to Terms with the Past,” will be followed by a symposium which a number of DC-Cam staff and Taing Kim will attend.


1.1.4    Digital Photo Archiving


This quarter, we began to interview individuals and collect photographs for a new monograph. It will be similar in format and theme to Stilled Lives: Photographs from the Cambodian Genocide, which was published late last year and told the stories of 51 men and women who joined the Khmer Rouge. The new book (yet to be titled), will be based on the lives of new people (those the Khmer Rouge evacuated from the cities). To date, we have conducted ten interviews for the new monograph.



1.2       Promoting Accountability


To support the Khmer Rouge tribunal, we have worked on a number of programs to ensure access to our documents and to keep the public informed.



1.2.1    Public Access to DC-Cam Archives


DC-Cam’s archives are of great historical interest and may provide important evidentiary materials in any accountability process relating to the DK regime. The over 600,000 pages of documents we have amassed include:



Documents dating from the DK era: Communist Party of Kampuchea correspondence, confession transcripts, committee minutes and reports, Khmer Rouge biographies, foreign documents, media materials, cadre diaries and notebooks, and documents from foreign countries.



Post-DK documentary materials: survivor petitions, 1979 trial documents, interview transcripts taken from survivors of the regime as well as scholars’ interviews with former Communist Party of Kampuchea officials, mapping reports, and photographs.



Guidelines for Access. Last year marked the end of legal obstacles to the Khmer Rouge tribunal, while the first quarter of 2005 brought the tribunal closer to being realized in terms of funding. $38.7 million of the estimated budget of $56.3 million has been raised officially, and many in the international community have stated that the overall budget goal will be reached soon. Thus, it is possible that the trial process will be set up in 2005.


In order to provide the court and other authorized officials with full access to our documents, we have been working with our legal advisors to develop and issue a set of rules and guidelines for viewing them as the tribunal process begins. The guidelines are designed to ensure that our documents remain both available for review and as secure as possible. As the tribunal process unfolds, we will develop a more specific set of guidelines to ensure that we assist the proceedings as effectively as possible. We have provided copies of those procedures to the appropriate UN and Cambodian authorities.


A Response Team for the Tribunal. In late 2003 we began to plan for a tribunal response team. This team would comprise Cambodian and non-Cambodian lawyers and political scientists/historians. Two of these experts would work on the team full time and would be assisted by shorter-term personnel on an as-needed basis; they would be supervised by a DC-Cam staff member familiar with our Center’s documentary holdings. This independent and neutral team will be in a position to help tribunal and authorized officials (as well as the public) carry out research and documentary reviews as needed. Also, Center staff will translate additional documents into English in advance of the tribunal.


Public Information Room. To meet the anticipated need for documentation materials at the tribunal, in late April 2004 DC-Cam informally opened its Public Information Room (PIR). Access is given to legal personnel (representing both the defense and prosecution), scholars, reporters, and the general public. DC-Cam’s response team of documentation specialists, translators, and others provide assistance in searching for and interpreting documents.


The PIR also functions as a library and educational forum. In this quarter, it received 283 visitors, hosted guest lectures and in-house training, screened 4 films on the regime, and provided office space for our Victims of Torture Project staff.



2nd Q. 2004

3rd Q. 2004

4th Q. 2004

1st Q. 2005

Number of visitors






This quarter we welcomed 283 visitors (one of our PIR staff was in a motorcycle accident and the person substituting for him did not register all visitors, hence, the lower number this quarter), 12 were researchers and 50 were students writing theses on genocide in Cambodia. The researchers included Fulbright scholars, freelance writers, and individuals from Babel Studio, The American Project, Good Film Works, Khmer Institute for Democracy, WHO Weekly Review, and the Ministry of Environment. The students came from:



Cambodia: the Royal University of Law and Economics, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Royal Academy of Cambodia, Pannasastra University, National Institute of Management, Mekong University, and University of Cambodia


Australia: Monash University and University of Sydney


USA: Preston University and Jamestown Community College


Japan: Sophia University and Nagoya University


Thailand: Chulalongkorn University and Mahidol University.


We have also hosted several study groups, including students from the USA (CIEE), Cambodia (journalism students), and Singapore (the National University of Singapore), as well as representatives from the Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center. Prior to visiting our PIR, some of the study group participants had little knowledge about the Cambodian genocide and expressed appreciation for what they had learned.


We are also in the process of seeking support to bring one or more experts from within Cambodia and/or overseas (e.g., historians, document preservationists) to work closely with our response team before and during the tribunal.


1.2.2    The Promoting Accountability (PA) Project


This project aims to draw a picture of subordinate-superior relationships during Democratic Kampuchea, to identify a pool of survivors (victims and cadres) that may be helpful to the Khmer Rouge tribunal, and to build the historic record on DK. The recent ratification of the Khmer Rouge law and UN/Cambodia agreement signal the need for DC-Cam to both accelerate and expand the scope of this project, and we are confident in our ability to do so.


This quarter, our PA team operated from field offices in Kandal and Kampot provinces. We have completed work in Kampong Thom and Pursat provinces.



1st Quarter 2005

To Date

Survivors/former cadres interviewed



Interview pages



Records entered into the Accountability Database



* This activity was postponed due to staff allocations to other work, but is expected to pick up later in 2005 with the recruitment of additional volunteers.


DC-Cam also contracted with Stephen Heder from the University of London to produce a manuscript analyzing the nearly 2,000 interviews (30,000 pages) we conducted with former Khmer Rouge cadres. Specifically, he sought to determine if the interviews provide information relevant to the cases of the former Khmer Rouge officials most likely to stand trial: Ieng Sary, Mok, Duch, Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea, Ieng Thirith, and Mam Nai (deputy prison chief of S-21). Dr. Heder prepared English summaries of the historically salient points in selected interviews, while preparing the materials for legal analysis and presentation to the Extraordinary Chambers. He completed his manuscript last quarter; it will be analyzed by our legal advisor during 2005.


1.2.3    Pre-trial Outreach (part of the Living Documents Project)


The broader the public involvement, the more the tribunal will be viewed as effective and responsive to the needs of the Cambodian people. In the fall of 2004, we met with nearly 400 Cham Muslim leaders (hakem) from all parts of the country, 32 Buddhist nuns, and members of 12 youth and student associations, in order to engage them in the tribunal process. These groups represent a variety of religious beliefs and ages. They have been given an introduction to the tribunal and asked to reflect on its importance and their participation.


We also have two new projects that work with the Cham community. The first is an oral history project. Through hakem, we have developed and distributed 30 questionnaires to 336 Cham villages throughout the country. They include 24 questions asking on the roots of the community and their experiences during the Khmer Rouge regime. This quarter, we collected 95 completed questionnaires, which will be used in a new magazine about the Cham community. The second project aims to disseminate information about Chams – their history, livelihoods, and other relevant aspects – through the development of an Internet web page. The website will enable members of this community to communicate with academics, interested members of the public, and other Muslim communities worldwide.


With the nuns, we have planned to organize a march for peace and justice. They would also participate in a number of public forums hosted by DC-Cam. The forums will bring together victims and perpetrators to discuss sexual abuse during Democratic Kampuchea and their impacts today. Plans for the march were finalized this quarter. We anticipate that at least 500 nuns from throughout the country will participate.


The student groups we met with have planned to go door-to-door in several areas of Cambodia to explain the process, activities, and benefits of the tribunal to citizens. This quarter, we selected 171 students from a pool of nearly 200 who applied for a two-month period of voluntary service with DC-Cam. The students will travel throughout the Cambodian countryside distributing project materials (e.g., Khmer Rouge Tribunal Law, KR Law Amendment, UN/Royal Government of Cambodia Agreement, debates).



1.2.4        DC-Cam Overseas Office


In the fall of 2004, we set up an office in the United States at Rutgers University to collect and disseminate information on Khmer Rouge history, with a particular emphasis on assisting the Cambodian North American community. It will also:



Serve as a reciprocal exchange between DC-Cam and Rutgers’ students and faculty


 Facilitate internships/externships at DC-Cam for Rutgers’ students


Present research and training opportunities for Rutgers’ students and faculty


 Provide a venue for exhibitions, conferences, seminars


Locate information for and provide translations to personnel from the United Nations, members of the legal community, scholars, and others interested in the upcoming tribunal.


The office was officially opened on April 1, 2005, following an agreement between DC-Cam and Rutgers University. The office is equipped with tables, chairs, desks, bookcases, computers, telephone and internet line. We also sent the Rutgers office the following materials:



DC-Cam monographs: Division 703 (20 copies in English, 20 in Khmer), Oukoubah (20 copies in English), Reconciliation in Cambodia (20 copies in English), Seven Candidates for Prosecution (20 copies in English), Stilled Lives (20 copies in English), and Victims and Perpetrators (20 copies in English).


Books by Others: Anne Frank’s Diary (10 copies in Khmer) and First They Killed My Father (1 copy in Khmer).


Searching for the Truth: 652 copies of English editions and 65 copies of Khmer editions.


Microfilm: 93 reels, film (The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields): 5 copies, a case study: 19 copies, maps of the killing fields: 5 copies, posters: 4 copies, photographs: 14, and CDs: 1. We will send another set of microfilm to Rutgers next quarter.



1.3       Public Education and Reconciliation Outreach


1.3.1    The Legal Training Project


In response to recommendations made during last summer’s legal training course at DC-Cam, we are planning to hold another course in 2005. It will focus on the defense counsel and be sponsored by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. In this quarter, we screened several North American law students who had applied for teaching positions for the course.


The 2005 project will involve three intensive two-week courses in Phnom Penh for selected Cambodian officials, university professors, NGO leaders, and journalists. Our aim is to educate a group of Cambodians about transitional justice and human rights law so that they will be able to put those ideas into practice as teachers, writers, activists, and policymakers. Each two-week course will host prominent local and international guest lecturers, and deal with different aspects of international criminal law and criminal defense relevant to the upcoming tribunal in Cambodia.


Our tentative team for the training includes:


            Helyn Unac, Criminal Resource Defense Center, Kosovo, International Coordinator

            Vanthan P. Dara, DC-Cam coordinator

            Karen Yookyung Choi, University of Toroto, summer legal associate

            Devon Chaffee, Georgetown University, summer legal associate

            Janet Lee, Rutgers University, summer legal intern

            Helen Kim, Harvard University, summer legal associate

            Kevin Osborne, Santa Clara University, summer legal associate

            Krissa Lanham, Yale University, summer legal associate.


In addition, we will recruit four law students from Cambodia to assist on the project.


1.3.2    The Victims of Torture Project


We began this two-year project in late 2003 with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO). It involves counseling for people who suffered abuse under the DK regime (both victims and perpetrators) and are traumatized today. Our primary roles are to assist the TPO in identifying subjects for care.


Our previous activities included TPO training on counseling and trauma in early 2004, and the development of a questionnaire to interview traumatized individuals as well as obtain local perspectives on justice and reconciliation. Since last quarter, we have been conducting field interviews, producing interview transcripts, and referring prospective patients to TPO. For the purposes of analytical trauma studies, reconciliation, and history, we continued to transcribe interviews this quarter and to key interview data into the CBIB database. This quarter, DC-Cam staff accompanied TPO to the field in Kandal, Kampot, and Takeo provinces, where TPO began therapy and treatment, which will continue through end of the project in September 2005.



1st Quarter 2005

To Date

Interviews/PTSD victims identified



Transcript pages



Khmer/English data entry



Group/individual therapy



Psychiatric treatment




This quarter, our staff participated in two local conferences and members of our project team are planning to attend an international conference on psychiatry in Sydney in May and on health and human rights in the USA in June.


1.3.3        Genocide Education


For the past 25 years, formal education about the Khmer Rouge has ranged from near-complete political propaganda to an incomplete history. Since 2002, history books for Cambodian high school students have not contained any text on Democratic Kampuchea.


This two-year project (2004-2006) aims to provide the Ministry of Education with a short, accurate, and unbiased text on Khmer Rouge history for high school students. We anticipate that it will be incorporated into history books by the Cambodian government or published as a supplementary text. The project will also seek to enhance the capabilities of teachers and the Ministry of Education to convey the history of Democratic Kampuchea through the provision of ideas, materials, and recommendations on relevant curricula, books, websites, films, etc.


This quarter, our text author has read and evaluated five books and many articles and primary documents on the regime. He has also written 20 pages of text to date covering a brief history of the origins of the Khmer Rouge, the Democratic Kampuchea era, and the regime’s fall (we anticipate that the text will eventually reach 40 pages, including illustrations). This will be the first history of the regime written by a Cambodian for high school students. The text will be evaluated by our advisor David Chandler, a world-renowned historian on Cambodia, as well as by a number of Cambodian and international academics.


In addition, our project staff reviewed 60 survivor stories from Democratic Kampuchea. When the review is complete, about 20 stories will be selected to represent a wide range of survivors (men, women and children, new and base people, cadres, etc., from throughout Cambodia). A separate booklet of these stories will be published.


Last, we plan to take high school students from both Phnom Penh and rural areas on tours of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. We have developed surveys to test the knowledge and attitudes of students before and after the tour, as well as a set of questions for teachers on how their students learn best. We have also located Internet sites and screened films that could be useful for students and teachers.


1.3.4    Film Project


Rachana Phat’s 30-minute film The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields: The Story of Rape Survivor Tang Kim is one of three films nominated for a Grace Heritage award. It will be screened at Grace Heritage in Washington, DC on May 1, 2005. The producer and director (Rachana Phat and Youk Chhang, respectively) will attend the awards ceremony on May 7, 2005. On February 15, the film was screened at the Documentary Visions film festival organized by Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh. DVD productions of the film have earned $975 to date, which is being used to support the education of Taing Kim’s children.


In April, Tang Kim will visit Germany, where she will participate in programs, photo exhibitions, museum tours, and speaking engagements. Her visit will be sponsored by the Friedrich Eert Stiftung Institute. Other delegates from DC-Cam will include Youk Chhang, who will present a paper on “The Seizure of Power by the Khmer Rouge—Witnessed by Survivors and War Correspondents,” and Rachana Phat, who will present her film.


1.3.5    Web Site Development (


This quarter, we completed the completed the redesign and reorganization of our website, which included writing new face pages, installing a search engine, regrouping materials, and adding several hundred photographs.


As planned, we continued to explore a number of issues surrounding the use of foul or defamatory language on the site in anticipation of hosting a public forum on the Internet. Once we have formulated a policy and determined if we can successfully block such language, we will open the forum, which the public can use to exchange views on Democratic Kampuchea, the tribunal, and other issues. Although we initially planned to develop a chat room for Cambodian students at the University of Massachusetts’ Lowell campus, we determined that we could provide a wider range of services by opening a forum for all those visiting our website.


In addition, the Highest Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Cambodia is now helping us to collect data (number of people in villages, number of males/females, number of children attending school, means of livelihood, economic conditions) on Cambodia’s Cham Muslim community. We will use these data to develop a webite for this community.


An internet researcher found our website useful and wrote to his friends,


I thought I should share this web site that I just stumbled upon- very informative and educational..... I am so glad and thankful to Mr. Youk Chhang and those involved in making this possible. And upon my search, a hero we all know is among those many with a story to share.



1.4       Research, Translation and Publication


1.4.1    Historical Research and Writing


Our Research Project aims to develop an historical understanding of the DK era and to build the capacity of young Cambodian scholars to produce quality writing and research. We also publish the work of international scholars who conduct extensive research at DC-Cam. Our main products are the short monographs in our Documentation Series.


The following manuscripts are now in layout and will be published next quarter:



Tum Teav: A Study of a Cambodian Literary Classic by George Chigas, who holds a PhD from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell



The Chain of Terror: The Khmer Rouge Southwest Zone Security System by Meng-Try Ea, a DC-Cam staff member who is currently working on a PhD at Rugters University.


An additional manuscript is in final editing:



The Winds from The West: Khmer Rouge Purges in Mondul Kiri, by Sara Colm of Human Rights Watch, with DC-Cam staff member Sorya Sim.


In addition, we have been helping several university students, from both Cambodia and abroad, in their research. Our assistance has included the provision of materials, advice, and responses to inquiries.



Erik Davis, a PhD student in history and religion at the University of Chicago, who is examining the ways Cambodians remember and commemorate their dead relatives.



Galina Nelayeva, a PhD candidate at Central European University, Budapest, whose thesis concerns the prosecution of rape as an international crime.



Gwyneth C. McClendon, a senior at Columbia University, who is working on a political science thesis examining the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers of Cambodia, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court.



Denise Affonςo, an author who is writing a book to be titled La Digue Des Veuves, which will be published by Presses De La Renaissance in 2005.



Chuop Veng, a student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, who is writing his senior thesis on clothing in Democratic Kampuchea.



Preng Piseth, who is writing his MA thesis for the Royal Academy of Cambodia on the impact of the revolutionary theories of Marx and Lenin on Cambodian society.



1.4.2    Monographs in Preparation


DC-Cam staff member Osman Ysa’s monograph, The Cham Rebellion, has been written and translated into English. The editing of his manuscript will begin next quarter.


In mid-2003, we began working with Dr. Ian Harris of Oxford and Lancaster Universities (UK) on a study of Buddhism under the Khmer Communists from 1970 to 1990. So far, he has made five research visits to Cambodia. In addition to archival work at DC-Cam, the National Archives of Cambodia and the Buddhist Institute, Dr. Harris has conducted field interviews in Kampot, Kandal, Battambang, Kompong Speu, Takeo, Kompong Cham and Kratie provinces. Dr. Harris also made a visit to Chau Doc, Southern Vietnam (where some ethnic Khmer monks are now living). To date, he has conducted 58 interviews with key informants. In 2005, Dr. Harris plans to conduct fieldwork and interviews in Kompong Thom, Stung Treng and Svay Rieng. The project will result in a published manuscript in our Documentation Series in late 2005.


In 2003, John D. Ciorciari (former Wai Seng Senior Research Scholar at Oxford University) began work on a short book dealing with the relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Khmer Rouge regime. We assisted him in conducting field research. We plan to combine his text with an introductory guide to the Khmer Rouge tribunal that Mr. Ciociari wrote with members of our legal training course staff. We anticipate that it will be published in 2005.


1.4.3    Translation and Publication of Foreign Books


Four books have been translated by DC-Cam and are ready for publication:



Lucky Child, by Loung Ung, translated by Rachana Phat



Brother Enemy, by Nayan Chanda, translated by Tep Meng Khean



When the War was Over, by Elizabeth Becker, translated by Tep Meng Khean and Irene Sokha



Journey to Light, by Ronnie Yimsuth, translated by Kok-Thay Eng



1.4.4    Research Forum: Preserving the History of the Khmer Rouge Regime


DC-Cam intended to announce the winners of the essay context we are co-sponsoring with the Khmer Writers Association this quarter. However, we decided to delay until to April 2006 in order to receive a larger pool of submissions. To date, we have received 14 essays.



1.5       Magazine and Radio


            1.5.1    The Magazine Project


Khmer Edition. This quarter, we produced three issues of Searching for the Truth, which contained 32 articles and 7 announcements for missing relatives. As reflected in the magazine’s editorials, the focus this quarter was on the upcoming tribunal and its funding.



The documentation section contained three confessions made by S-21 prisoners who had served in the Ministry of International Affairs of FUNK, a list of people killed at S-21, petitions in favor of the National Assembly resolution, and summaries of two texts on the relationships among DK, China, and Vietnam.



The history section had seven articles. These included a part of “Why Did They Kill So Many” written by Maud Sanuist and staff articles describing the lives of cadres and victims during Democratic Kampuchea.



The legal section carried two articles related to the responsibility of KR leaders and the Extraordinary Chambers.



 The debate section’s five articles discussed genocide in Cambodia and other countries, the causes of the September 11 event, the potential effects of the tribunal, and peace education in Cambodia.



 The family tracing section contained two personal stories submitted by readers, one article by DC-Cam staff, and excerpts from Stilled Lives. We also published seven announcements for missing relatives; most of them were requests villagers made to our PA team during field trips.


We also created a special page this quarter that contained a transcript of the National Assembly’s meeting to ratify the UN/Cambodian agreement, the amended KR law, and Sok An’s speech before the National Assembly.


Readers sent in six letters this quarter. They covered requests for the magazine and photographs, expressions of appreciation for DC-Cam’s provision of documents on missing relatives, and comments on our magazine.


We continued cooperating with LICADHO, PADEC, TPO and PED to distribute our magazine. We sold 110 copies of the Khmer edition and distributed 20,890 free of charge. Our field teams also carried copies of magazines to villagers.


Special Quarterly English Edition. Our first quarter edition contained:



Documentation section: Two confession summaries and articles summarized from newspapers about relations between DK and China.



History section: Four articles on former Khmer Rouge prisoners and life under DK



Legal section: Former DC-Cam legal intern Aubrey Ardema wrote a community education article about the Extraordinary Chambers



Public debate section: A Cambodian-American wrote about his disagreements with the term “auto-genocide,” and former DC-Cam legal intern Katrina Anderson wrote about sexual crimes during DK and their potential legal treatment today



Family tracing section: Three readers submitted stories of their lives under DK.



1.5.2    Radio Broadcasts


The table below shows a history of our broadcasts.





Start date


Women’s Media Center

Phnom Penh

FM102 MHz

As of 1st Q 2005

7:30-7:45 p.m.





First They Killed My Father

Searching for the Truth

Anne Frank’s Diary

Oct. 2002

May 2003

July 2004






FM93.25 MHz

7:00-7:30 a.m./p.m. Daily

First They Killed My Father

Searching for the Truth

Anne Frank’s Diary

Introduction to KR trial

Jun. 2004

Aug. 2004

Aug. 2004

Jan. 2005





Preah Vihear

FM99 MHz

7:00-7:30 a.m.

6:30-7:00 p.m.


First They Killed My Father

Searching for the Truth

Anne Frank’s Diary

Aug. 2004

Aug. 2004

Nov. 2004





FM103 MHz

9:00-9:30 a.m.

3:00-3:30 p.m.

Searching for the truth

Anne Frank’s Diary

Feb. 2005



In this quarter we continued broadcasting from a station in Preah Vihear, which also reaches parts of Oddar Meanchey, Ratanak Kiri, Stung Treng, and Kampong Thom provinces. Our twice-daily readings there are similar to our broadcasts in Kampot. We are still in the process of considering broadcasts in Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, Sihanoukville and Svay Rieng.


We have increased the cost-effectiveness of our production by completing the setup of a new studio housed at DC-Cam. We continue to send pre-recorded tapes to local radio stations.



2. Challenges AND RESPONSES


We are happy to report that a 2004 donor review cited DC-Cam activities as “both relevant and effective. It performs according to its workplan and it seems to be well organized. Its activities are relevant to the objectives, its outputs are of good quality, and its pubic outreach is commendable.” However, the review also stated that improvements should be made in DC-Cam’s cooperation with other local NGOs. We acknowledge that we have under-reported our work in this area and have made efforts to improve since the last quarter of 2004.


2.1       Translation Capacity


With the recruitment of a new staff member this quarter, we now have adequate translation capacity for the time being. In addition, the Cambodian Royal Government Task Force has begun a nationwide recruiting campaign for translators and recruiters to work at the upcoming tribunal. This should ease the anticipated translation burden for DC-Cam. We will refer any qualified candidates we encounter to the Task Force.


2.2       Security


We have now identified the sources of indirect threats we have received and reported on them to the appropriate institutions. In addition, to protect our documents, we began sending microfilm copies to Rutgers University this quarter.


2.3       Public Outreach


Many NGOs in Cambodia are working on programs related to the Khmer Rouge tribunal. This will produce challenges in term of maintaining accurate information for the public. DC-Cam is investigating the best methods of ensuring the integrity of information to the public.


In this quarter, we recruited 171 students from 22 provinces of Cambodia to serve as volunteers. They will be trained on our public outreach materials (e.g., Searching for the Truth no. 58/law amendment, Khmer Rouge law, UN/RGC agreements) during April-May and will be disseminating the materials nationwide in June, July, and August of this year. We plan to provide them with about copies of various materials for distribution.





The impacts of our projects have been felt in five major areas: public advocacy regarding the tribunal for former Khmer Rouge leaders, heightened community awareness of the need for both justice and reconciliation, media and academic coverage of the center’s activities, our cooperation with overseas organizations and NGOs, and staff development.


3.1              Public Advocacy


In late 2004, as momentum for the Khmer Rouge tribunals was growing, we wrote to former President Bill Clinton, requesting that he become a spokesperson to raise funds for the trials. But with the tsunami striking Asia, Mr. Clinton was tapped to raise funds for the victims. In response, DC-Cam ran several articles and editorials in Searching for the Truth and other newspapers at home and abroad, and expressed views on broadcast media in an effort to maintain public momentum for the tribunal. Weeks later, the United Nations announced that the international community had pledged most of the funding needed for the tribunal.


3.2       Community Awareness


Virtually all of DC-Cam’s projects have a component to encourage community awareness of history, justice, and reconciliation. A few of the indicators of our success in this area are discussed briefly below.


            3.2.1    Documentation


A French researcher from Paris requested information on 10 people who died during DK. We searched our database and found three (Nuon Hong, Lo Sim, and Heng Nat).


We provided a number of photos of child prisoners at S-21 to Ms. Kulikar from the BCC.


            3.2.2    Research


On January 2, 2005, we offered assistance to Hans Christian Post, a graduate student from the University of Copenhagen, who was pursuing research related to memory and culture in Cambodia.


Recently DC-Cam assisted a number of authors who are working on books:



Loung Ung, Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia in America Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind



Peter Macguire: Facing Death



 Walter Tschirren, Die Zukunft der Jugend: Was Jugendiche Welweit Denken



A comic book produced by French artists using DC-Cam images.



3.2.3    Digital Photoarchives Project


We continued to publish stories from this book in our monthly magazine Searching for the Truth (circulation 7,000) and a local newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea Daily (circulation 25,000).


3.2.4    Promoting Accountability


We assisted a researcher from the University of Chicago who was interested in the rituals and practices surrounding the memory of death. We gave him access to our interview transcripts with former cadres and the relatives of those who died during the regime, who talked about how they dealt with their memories.


Our PA teams received two requests from villagers who wanted us to look for their missing relatives.


Our PA teams also had extensive interactions with the media during the first quarter. For example, they accompanied Alain Lewkowicz, a radio reporter from Paris, to Kampong Thom province to observe the PA team’s work with both perpetrators and victims. Mr. Lewkowiz also interviewed PA staff in the office. In addition, we accompanied AP journalist Ker Munthit to interview former Khmer Rouge cadres who participated in attacking Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975. Last, Anne Lauree, a journalist form Cambodge Soir newspaper, interviewed our staff about their work.


3.2.5    Victims of Torture Project



Cambodge Soir interviewed our team members and survivors in Takeo province, resulting in an article, “Dans le village de Kus, victimes et bourreaux cohabitent en silence,” dated March 12-13, 2005.



We accompanied a Cambodge Soir journalist to Kampot province, where he interviewed two survivors.



AP and Cambodge Soir journalists accompanied our teams to Kandal province, where they interviewed survivors.



A journalist from Italian TV RAI interviewed and videotaped our team members.



Our interviewees in the villages have told us that they have been feeling 50% better as a result of our counseling and treatment, while team members have also observed that survivors have become more confident talking to journalists than when the project began.



Neighbors increasingly come to us for help after they learn about project from those treated by TPO.



3.2.6    Searching for the Truth Magazine


Our magazine continued to receive requests and letters of appreciation this quarter.


Mr. Khan Sophal, an MA student at Chamreun Polytechnic University, asked for photos of KR leaders, torture during the DK regime, and the 1979 trial. He also requested copies of our magazine every month to use in his research.


Isabelle Rivé, director of the Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, requested 50 photos of KR leaders, prisoners at Tuol Sleng, and daily life during DK.


Two Singaporeans, Wang Eng Eng and Eunice Lau, requested 85 photos of the DK regime and KR 1979 trial to use in their documentary film, Asia Witnesses.


Mr. Chhon Chan Makara from Battambang sent a letter of thanks to DC-Cam for searching for documents on his sister and brother-in-law and for replying to him in detail.


Mr. Nhem Buntha, Cambodian-Australian, asked DC-Cam to search for documents regarding his father and two uncles who were arrested by the Khmer Rouge.


Mr. Kong Meardey, a teacher at Build Bright University, sent an email saying that after he read Issue #61, he wanted to share his own story of imprisonment during DK.


Mr. Rauni requested 79 photos of KR leaders, S-21 prisoners, daily life in DK and Tuol Sleng.


Mr. Remain Clergeat from Paris Match magazine requested 30 photos that had been published in our magazine.


Mr. Thal Savuth, a Cambodian-American, submitted an article entitled “The Murderer of Nuo Pet” and two poems to Searching for the Truth.


Mr. Dean, a Cambodian-Canadian, sent a letter to his friend Men Bunleng, in which he said that he found his grandfather’s photo and identity number in Searching for the Truth. He asked DC-Cam to search for more information related to the photo: name, date and reason for arrest and execution, region, and if possible, confession. At the end of his letter, Mr. Dean said: “Can you tell Youk Chhang that I congratulate him for his job and what he did in the project call Searching for the Truth, the magazine, the DC-Cam web, the different documents concerning the KR. This last thing helps a lot the young generation of Cambodians to understand much better what happened during the KR regime.”


On January 6, 2005, Mr. Vong Meng, a Khmer studies lecturer from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, requested monthly copies of Searching for the Truth. He wrote, “The Truth Magazine is the sources that deals with Khmer Rouge, but for me it is useful when I use the model and analyze Cambodian syntax. Khmer Rouge period I look for literature and language use for the students who do the course of Khmer Studies in year II. In addition, the Magazine is to offer the readers with syntax and sentence structure in Cambodian language and I recognize that it is written by the researchers from the Documentation Center of Cambodia. I usually use it in order to quote some features to teach my students at the university; it is not only for me but also for the students.”


3.3              Media and Academic Coverage


This quarter, at least 105 news items on Khmer Rouge issues appeared in 23 local and international publications; DC-Cam’s work was referenced in the majority of these. The local publications included Cambodge Soir, Cambodia Daily, Oudomkate Khmer, Phnom Penh Post, Rasmei Kampuchea Daily and The Voice of Khmer Youth. The international ones were ABC Radio Australia, AFP, AP, STUFF (, Kyodo, The Nation, Rutgers Newark Online, PRINT, New York Times, Green Left Weekly,Vail Daily, USA Today, International Herald Tribune, TES Friday, Democracy, UN Press Release and BBC News. Some examples from these publications include:


Stories Featuring DC-Cam

“Agreement Establishes Khmer Rouge Archive at Rutgers-Newark,” Rutgers Newark Online, March 8, 2005.


National Endowment for Democracy, “Documentation Center Will Help Bring Justice to Cambodia,” Democracy, Issue 1, 2005.


Edward Lovett, “Truth Reconciliation,” PRINT, January/February 2005.


Ung Chamroen, “Farina, musulmane aux prises avec la memoire du genocide,” Cambodge Soir, January 3, 2005.


Prum Phalla, “Cambodians Need Working Legal System,” Cambodia Daily, March 23, 2005.


Concerns that Khmer Rouge Issues Would be Silenced by the Tsunami

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, “World Should Not Forget KR Victims,” Cambodia Daily, January 3, 2005.


“Cambodia’s Genocide Worse than Asian Tsunami, Hun Sen Says,” Kyodo, January 8, 2005.


Yun Samean, “PM Chides Int’l Public for Ignoring Cambodia,”Camboida Daily, January 10, 2005.


Appeals for Holding and Funding the Tribunal

Youk Chhang, “Places of Honor in History of Khmer People and Humanity,” Rasmei Kampuchea Daily, March 19, 2005.


Huy Vannak, “KR Tribunal Needed to Heal Wounds of all Cambodians, “Cambodia Daily, January 17, 2005.


Yun Samean, “PM Warns Time Running Out for KR Tribunal,” Cambodia Daily, January 31, 2005.


“Genocide researcher urges donor nations to fill budget gap for Khmer Rouge tribunal,” AP, March 18, 2005.


Youk Chhang, “Youk Chhang appelle la communaute internationale a engager des fonds,”Cambodge Soir, March 21, 2005.


Ker Munthit, “Cambodia appeals for more foreign aid to cover its genocide trial expense,” AP, March 25.


Youk Chhang, “Cambodia’s Trials,” International Herald Tribune, March 26-27, 2005.


“Governments Pledge $38.48 million for Khmer Rouge trials in Cambodia,” UN Press Release L/3082, March 28, 2005.


“International Donors Pledge US$38 million to finance Khmer Rouge Genocide Tribunal, about US$5 million below U.N. target,” AP, March 29, 2005.


“Annan Says Khmer Rouge Court on Track after Pledges,” AFP, March 29, 2005.


Youk Chhang, “KR Suit an Act of Courage, Leadership,” Cambodia Daily, March 23, 2005.


Sisowath Thomico, “KR Tribunal Should Be Set Up To give Justice to Victims,” Cambodia Daily, March 24, 2005.


Views of Retired King Sihanouk

“Norodom Sihanouk: Le Cambodge, un second royaume du Nepal,” Cambodge Soir, January 27, 2005.


So Vises, “Samdech Ov compares present situation of Khmer society with Nepal and Sangkum Reastr Niyum era saying Khmer Rouge can rebel, into the forest,” Oudomkate Khmer, January 28, 2005.


Sisowath Thomico and Hor Nam Hong

Wency Leung, “Pen Pal Says Sihanouk can help Thomico,” Cambodia Daily, March 22, 2005.


Srey Penh, “Hor Nam Hong Threatens or Proceed Legally,” The Voice of Khmer Youth, March 23, 2005.


Kunthea, “Preah Moha Vireak Ksat (retired King) tells Preah Ang Machah Thomico not to interrupt Mr. Hor Nam Hong,” Rasmei Kampuchea Daily, March 22, 2005.


Khmer Rouge Reactions to the Tribunal

Veasna, “UN announces on March 28 seeking contribution to try Khmer Rouge, Nuon Chea says a tribunal is good, not a tribunal is OK, to save money for national construction,” The Voice of Khmer Youth, March 13-14, 2005.



3.4       Cooperation with Overseas Organizations and NGOs


3.4.1        Cooperation with Overseas Organizations


Together with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), DC-Cam led the development of an “Affinity Group” of documentation centers from around the world (the former Afghanistan, Guatemala, Iraq, Thailand (working on human rights issues in Burma), and the former Yugoslavia to share information and techniques, and address the constraints shared by its members. The group, which plans to meet three or four times per year, would also call in international experts to help think through solutions to various technical documentation problems.


The first meeting of the Affinity Group was held in Phnom Penh on March 1-5, 2005. Participants toured Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and met with former guards and prisoners from S-21. Following an introduction to DC-Cam that included detailed discussions of our documentation and outreach work, the group addressed such topics as:



 Strategic issues in collecting documents: how to connect documentary materials and forensic evidence with the broader goals of accountability, truth-telling, and justice. Prioritizing categories of documents, projects (e.g., oral history, primary documents).



 Technical issues in collecting, preserving and using documents (database management, collecting documents from multiple sources, massive state documents and collection challenges)



Case studies and/or a manual on documentation and planning for the future.


Participants at the first meeting included:



Louis Bickford, ICTJ


G. Dastgir Hedayat, Afghan Human Rights Commission


Khin Maung Shwe, Human Rights Education Institute of Burma


Serge Koskinen, CIDA


Rebecca Lichtenfeld, ICTJ


Marko Minic, Humanitarian Law Center of the former Yugoslavia


Hassan Mneimneh, Iraq Memory Foundation


Fredy Peccerelli, The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation


Patrick Pierce, Human Rights Education Institute of Burma.


The success of this meeting will set an example for the group’s next meeting, which will be held in Belgrade in June. The next meeting will cover 1) the ownership and custodianship of documents, 2) evidentiary questions, 2) information management systems, 4) documents and memory, 5) information preservation and dissemination, and 6) documentary collection.


In addition, in February we helped the Czech embassy in Bangkok and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum with a World War II-era exhibition of paintings by children from the Czech ghettos (most of whom did not survive) in an effort to mark the War’s 60 anniversary and to help remember victims of the Holocaust. We also help translate the exhibition’s text into Khmer.


Following a meeting and discussions in February, we offered to cooperate with the National Museums of World Culture. From April 25-28, 2005, DC-Cam will host a workshop for the Museums’ program The Southeast Asia Cultural Cooperation Program. As museum representative Katarina Runesson put it, “We find the Documentation Center to be a place of history in the making, combining issues for cultural heritage, identity and preservation, which are all issues to be discussed at the workshop.”


            3.4.2    Cooperation with Non-Government Organizations


On February 9, 2005, our VOT team participated in a conference on “Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness of Mental Health Care in Cambodia” organized by TPO Cambodia and sponsored by ICCO.


On February 25, 2005, our magazine editor Sann Kalyan participated in a group discussion with about 20 NGO managers organized by the Royal Academy of Cambodia. Participants discussed their experiences and ideas for how the Academy can best run a new non-profit management program.


On March 2, 2005, staff member Vanthan Poeu Dara gave a presentation on victim expectations at a conference in Phnom Penh on The Relationship between the International Criminal Court and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, sponsored by the International Federation of Human Rights, Adhoc and Licadho.

March 14, 2005 staff member Sorya Sim briefed an Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) delegation (including Ms. Marijana Nikolic, head of ICTY’s interpretation unit) on DC-Cam and its translation work. In the meeting Mr. Sim stressed the importance of having a glossary, consistency, assistance from native English speakers, technical experts, and translator integrity. ICTY briefed him on its translation work and the conflicts leading to human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia.


On March 15, 2005, staff member Vanthan Poeu Dara attended a civil society/government tribunal Task Force meeting in Phnom Penh organized by the OSJI. The purpose of the meeting was to learn from translation and interpretation experience at ICTY. Ms. Marijan Nikolic, head of interpretation at the ICTY, gave a presentation that stressed the importance of glossaries and consistency in the usage of terms.


On March 24, 2005, Vanthan Poeu Dara gave a speech on DC-Cam’s work and achievements at PACT Cambodia’s conference in Phnom Penh on Advocacy through Legal Services. Participants asked several questions on Khmer Rouge trial issues, compensation, documentation, the DK death toll, the likelihood of the tribunal being held, the involvement of other nations, etc.


3.5       Staff Development


            3.5.1    Professional Training/Degree Studies


This quarter, Sochea Phann was admitted to participate in the Fourth International Investigator Course at the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) of the International Law Faculty at the University of Leiden in The Hague and at the School for Peace Missions at the Royal Netherlands Army base at Amersfoort.


Rachana Phat of our staff left for graduate study at the Department of Anthropology and Archeology of the University of Pretoria, South Africa.



Prepared by

Sorya Sim and Wynne Cougill