Fourth Quarterly Report

October – December, 2005


This report describes the Documentation Center of Cambodia’s (DC-Cam) activities for the fourth quarter of 2005 (October to December).




We have grouped DC-Cam’s activities into six main project categories. The first five cover our traditional project activities. This quarter, we have added a sixth because of its critical importance to Cambodia and the work of DC-Cam: it summarizes our direct work with and for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and summarizes the main developments related to the Extraordinary Chambers. Our progress in each category for this quarter is briefly summarized below.


Documentation. We have entered 3,494 records into our Access List this quarter, and cataloged/keyed/edited 898 records into our database in Khmer and English. In addition, we microfilmed 7,835 pages of our documents. Last, we conducted 16 interviews for a new photo-archive book.


Promoting Accountability. In preparation for the Khmer Rouge tribunal, we have finalized a memorandum of understanding on the procedures for accessing DC-Cam’s archives, and sent it to the director of the Office of Administration of the Extraordinary Chambers and the Coordinator of the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials. We are also preparing reports on the chain of custody for DC-Cam’s documents and the chain of command of senior and middle-level Khmer Rouge cadres.


We interviewed 101 survivors, 52 of whom were Khmer Rouge cadres. Eight of our student outreach volunteers summarized 3,244 reports and consolidated 578 questions raised by villagers. Ten volunteers attended ten days of training on video documentary films in preparation for recording 44 village forums on sexual abuse during Democratic Kampuchea. To date, 140 questionnaires have been completed and 388 interviews conducted for our Cham Oral History Project.


Public Education and Reconciliation Outreach. A final draft of our text on the Khmer Rouge regime for high school students is being reviewed by scholars. Logistics and technical arrangement have been made for the January evaluation of our Victims of Torture Project. Last, we have posted an updated Khmer Rouge chronology and our new Khmer Rouge database on DC-Cam’s website.


Research, Translation, and Publication. Two monographs were published this quarter: When the War Was Over by Elizabeth Becker and Tum Teav by George Chigas. The translation of Ronnie Yimsuth’s Journey to Life will be published next quarter. A number of other manuscripts are in editing, and other books have been translated and will be printed when funds are available.


Magazine and Radio. We continued to produce both the Khmer and English editions of our magazine, Searching for the Truth. Since November 2005, we have been reading selections from Searching for the Truth and Stilled Lives on the radio.


DC-Cam’s Work with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. On December 12, 2005, UN tribunal Coordinator Michele Lee and her team visited DC-Cam’s archives. We gave them a set of our microfilms for use by tribunal staff, and offered the use of our office space and research staff to all actors in the EC, including attorneys for both the defense and prosecution.





Our documentation work consists of four activities: 1) cataloguing of documents and database management, 2) microfilming, 3) photographic exhibitions, and 4) digital photo archiving.


1) Cataloguing and Database Management


Background. DC-Cam uses four databases to catalog its documentary materials and to facilitate its research. Much of the information in these databases comes from our archives, which contain approximately 600,000 pages of documents related to the Khmer Rouge. The documents were collected from the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the Cambodian Ministry of Interior, the National Archives, and a number of other sources. Our archives include many documents from the 1975-1979 period (e.g., official Khmer Rouge correspondence, biographies of Party members and arrested persons, prisoner confessions, notebooks of Khmer Rouge cadres, photos of Party cadres, films, tape recordings, Party magazines, maps of Democratic Kampuchea) as well as materials dating from the pre-1975 period (e.g., documents from the Lon Nol regime) and the post-1979 era (e.g., interview transcripts from survivors of the regime, victim petitions from the 1982-83 period).

We catalog information from these documents and enter them into biographic, bibliographic, photographic, and geographic databases. These four databases are DC-Cam’s authorized copies of the Cambodian Genocide Databases, which are copyrighted property of Yale University’s Cambodian Genocide Program (CGP). The Cambodian Genocide Databases are the products of collaboration between DC-Cam, the CGP, and the University of New South Wales. In 1995, the CGP founded DC-Cam as a field office in Phnom Penh; at that time, we began work on document and data collection and entry, sending files to the University of New South Wales for entry into the databases under a sub-contracting agreement between the CGP and UNSW. When DC-Cam became an independent Cambodian institute in 1997, we collaborated closely with CGP and UNSW on the development of the databases until our formal program drew to a successful conclusion in September 2001. During this period, our organizations collected, catalogued and entered 2,963 bibliographical records, 10,690 biographical records, 5,190 photographs from the former Tuol Sleng Prison, and a wealth of geographic information on the locations of mass graves, genocide memorials, and former Khmer Rouge prisons in Cambodia.

In September 2001, we began modifying these databases to present the information in a different form and to include new information. The CGP retains its copyright over the organizational structure of the databases and content entered before September 2001, while DC-Cam has supplemented its copies of the databases and modified their visual presentation. For example, we have added 19,752 records to our authorized copy of the biographical database, and we are continuously adding new information to this and other databases. DC-Cam has copyright over these additions and modifications. We have attempted to note the proper copyright on each of the records in our versions of the databases and continue to cooperate with the CGP. An overview of each of our databases is as follows:

  • Biographic Database – 30,442 biographies are catalogued in this database. They are biographies of victims (ordinary citizens), Khmer Rouge (KR) commanders, cadres, soldiers, medical staff, messengers, militiamen, and other KR members, including those imprisoned and tortured in Tuol Sleng (S-21) prison.

  • Bibliographic Database (the D Collection) – This database contains 2,963 records entered by DC-Cam and CGP. Each entry contains a short summary of the document and bibliographic information. The records in the D Collection include:

  • Confessions collected from prisoners detained at Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh and at the Kraing Tachann prison in Takeo province

  • Khmer Rouge notebooks, biographies, and execution logs

  • Interviews with former Khmer Rouge

  • Books and articles

  • The Anlong Veng (a Khmer Rouge stronghold until 1996) collection of such post-1979 Khmer Rouge materials as school textbooks, minutes of meetings, and various communications/reports.

  • Photographic Database – This database contains 5,190 photographs of prisoners from Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh. It is updated as DC-Cam collects photographs relevant to the Khmer Rouge regime.

  •  Geographic Database – This database contains information collected during a systematic survey and mapping of Khmer Rouge-era prisons, execution centers, and mass graves. Global positioning and geographic information systems (GPS and GIS) technology was used to collect and plot the digital information. Since 1995, DC-Cam has surveyed and mapped 170 districts across Cambodia. We have created detailed, accurate maps of KR security offices, killing sites, and mass graves, as well as Cambodia’s genocide memorials.

Based on an ISIS search engine, each database functions separately and can be searched for biographic, bibliographic, photographic, and geographic information. To view these databases, please visit DC-Cam’s website at


Fourth Quarter Activities. Between September and December 2005, we completed the keying 24,184 D collection records in Khmer and 18,353 in English. Having completed the entries for this collection, we returned to record 1 and began editing both the Khmer and English records. We completed 505 records this quarter. 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.


We also finished cataloging all of the documents in our R Collection this quarter. The R, or Renakse, collection includes 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, the petitions hold accounts of horrific crimes and describe mass burial pits, prisons, and other evidence of Khmer Rouge terror.


In a parallel effort to facilitate public inquiry and research, we edited/entered 3,494 records from four collections into a Microsoft Access List. This database is available for use in our Public Information Room (PIR) and on CD-Rom, and is intended to facilitate public inquiry and research.


Since late 2003, our documentation team has been preparing a printable index for our Biographic Database (the I Collection). To date, we have worked on the field layout and design (name, gender, place and date of birth, names of mother and father). The index is 2,800 pages long at present, and will continue to grow as our teams add information. Work on this index has been slow because it is unassigned. However, because the index will be on microfiche, it will be important for those who cannot use computers. Last, we cataloged/keyed nearly 400 documents from our other collections.



3rd Quarter 2005

To Date

D Collection: Edited records (Khmer/Khmer)



R Collection: cataloged documents (end of collection)



I, K, D, and L Collections: Access List (Edited/Entered)



I Collection: records updated for index book



L, M, R & S Collections:






*The keying of these records was completed last quarter; this quarter was devoted to editing.

**The number reported last quarter was inadvertently double counted.


This quarter, we also began planning to finish cataloging/keying 15,577 documents. These include 140 documents from our M collection (stories about life under the Khmer Rouge), 3,500 from our S collection (student’ interviews with villagers about their views and life during the regime), 8,715 from the L collection (already cataloged), and 3,202 from the R collection (already cataloged). We will also add more information from our D Collection of documents, which include 24,184 books, newspaper articles, confessions, Khmer Rouge notebooks, telegrams and other documents.


Late this quarter, we posted our new database on the Internet following the review and approval of our work by Lemon Computers, a local company we contracted last year to manage our data in the MySQL program.


 2) Microfilming


Our Microfilming Project aims to preserve historical documents related to the Khmer Rouge. Microfilming allows researchers and legal investigators to access our archival information without handling original documents, many of which have become fragile with age. Last year, we completed microfilming the primary documents from our R, D, L, I, K, and J collections. This year, DC-Cam began microfilming documents from its Promoting Accountability (PA) Team’s interviews.



4th Quarter 2005


To Date


PA Collection microfilm*

13/ 7,835

83 / 52,153

PA Collection microfilm development

13 reels


D Collection (additional new documents)



D Collection/PA Collection: Duplicate for Rutgers

210 reels



*Between 1998 and 2004, we produced 497 reels of documents from our R, D, L, I, K, and J collections. The numbers above reflect progress on the new collection only.


In 2005, we began sending copies of our microfilmed materials to Rutgers University’s campus in Newark, New Jersey, where DC-Cam recently opened an office. By the end of this quarter, we have sent 524 microfilm reels to Rutgers. In addition, we have made our microfilm available to the public, who can order it from DC-Cam.


3) Photo Exhibitions


Since 2002, DC-Cam has been mounting exhibitions at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum on the Cambodian genocide. To date, we have mounted four exhibitions: “The Khmer Rouge Leaders,” “Victims of History,” “Forensic Exhibition,” and “Stilled Lives.” This quarter, nearly 2,000 visitors commented on the exhibitions in the Museum’s visitors’ books.


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


  • This has changed me, there is one question going to be in my head, forever, how could people do such things? –New Zealand

  • I pray for those who died during the genocidal regime to rest in peace--Cambodia

  • Was Pol Pot Khmer? If Pol Pot and his associates were Khmer, I did not believe they would dare to kill fellow Khmer. Please find the truth for the victims, where is the truth, who is involved?--Cambodia

  • What happened was a good lesson for Cambodia at present. We have to shake hands and work together on solidarity to find true peace. Cambodia will be great if everyone hates killing, loves peace, and gives love to fellow human beings.--Cambodia

  • We need justice! Keep pushing for it.---Scotland

  • I wish this action will not happen again.--Vietnam

  • Still can’t understand why? Maybe can’t be understood.--USA


4) Digital Photo Archiving


In 2005, we began to interview individuals and collect photographs for a new monograph. It will be similar in structure 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 will be based on the lives of new people (those the Khmer Rouge evacuated from the cities).



4th Quarter 2005

To Date




Photos collected




The interviews conducted to date reveal that most of the people who were evacuated from Phnom Penh were born in the provinces and had moved to the capital for safety or economic reasons. We have written 31 stories and put them in a layout with photographs, arranged by occupation.


While most of the photographs collected for Stilled Lives were contributed by our Promoting Accountability teams after their trips to rural areas, we are obtaining photographs for the new book from personal contacts, those who contributed to a Khmer Writers Association/DC-Cam essay contest held in 2003, and public announcements.





Our promoting accountability work consists of four activities: 1) providing public access to our archives, 2) supporting efforts to identify those responsible for the crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime, 3) encouraging public participation in the judicial process being established for the tribunal of Khmer Rouge leaders through pre-trial outreach, and 4) ensuring the integrity and security of our archives for future use through the establishment and maintenance of an overseas office. We have also implemented several outreach activities during this period.


The prospects for the tribunal’s establishment improved this quarter when the UN advance team arrived in Phnom Penh in December, coupled by recent funding by the EU and the building for the tribunal becoming available in January 2006. In anticipation, we have continued working on a number of programs to ensure access to our documents and to keep the public informed.


1) Public Access to DC-Cam Archives


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

  •   Documents dating from the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) era. These include Communist Party of Kampuchea correspondence, confession transcripts, committee minutes and reports, Khmer Rouge biographies, 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, scholars’ interviews with former Communist Party of Kampuchea officials, mapping reports, and photographs form this collection.

A Response Team for the Tribunal. We began to plan for this team in late 2003. This quarter, we finalized the team‘s mandate, organizational structure, and terms of reference. Briefly, the Response Team’s mandate is: to facilitate access to DC-Cam’s collection for Extraordinary Chambers (EC) officials and personnel, and to provide outreach services to Cambodian society and the international community in connection with the EC proceedings. The Response Team will not provide formal legal advice to any EC personnel; however, it will be available to assist with understanding and interpreting the documentary records left by the Khmer Rouge. In its outreach capacity, the Response Team will focus on using the EC proceedings to enhance the legal literacy of the Cambodian public. The long-term research and analysis work of DC-Cam will continue in parallel with the work of the Response Team when the EC proceedings are underway.


The Response Team will consist of Cambodian and foreign experts from the fields of law, history, political science, library science, and technology. Some will be based permanently at DC-Cam. Others will be based abroad and will consult remotely and in Cambodia with the Response Team on an as-needed basis.

















Our staff member Bunsou Sour, who recently received an LLM from the University of Essex, UK, will serve as our head documentarian. Two other staff members with law degrees from Phnom Penh universities will assist him. We are now screening applicants for the remaining positions and hope to finish by January 2006.


The team’s responsibilities include assisting on the production of a guide for accessing DC-Cam’s documents and the preparation of a report on the chain of custody of DC-Cam documents, compiling and identifying documents or contacts that might establish a criminal act or a chain of command, revisiting existing translations and making new translations, and monitoring the trials. 


To date, our public access activities have included:


Guidelines for Access. In order to provide the court and other authorized officials with full access to our documents, the guidelines for access have been finalized by our advisors who visited DC-Cam in December. They have now been sent to Director of the Office of Administration of the Extraordinary Chambers and the Coordinator of United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials. The guidelines were based on analyses of the draft National Archive Law, general principles of evidence concerning original documents, and ICTY’s relevant rules on document authenticity, among others. They are designed to ensure that our documents remain both available for review and as secure as possible.


Memorandum of Understanding. While the Guidelines for Access set out the legal, historical, security, and technical importance of why original documents should remain at DC-Cam unless it is necessary to examine them at the EC, the Memorandum of Understanding is a short text setting out rules, specifications, and a sample certification for using the documents. It has also been sent to the Director of the Office of Administration and UN Coordinator.


Chain of Custody. We are preparing a report on the chain of custody of our archives. DC-Cam’s director and staff will prepare this report based on 38 questions proposed by distinguished lawyers related to the origin of documents, acquisitions, custodianship, and usage.


Translations of Important Documents. To date, we have assembled 1,287 Khmer Rouge communications documents, and crosschecked their translations for accuracy, correcting them if necessary. These are communications in form of telegrams sent from local to central leaders, reporting about daily social, health, military, agricultural situations and activities.  Sometimes there were handwritten notes on the margins by the leaders. To date, we have completed 515 documents done.


Chain of Command. From the documents noted above, we have listed the names of senior and middle-level CPK cadres, cross-checked them, and updated them with current information obtained in cooperation with Dr. Steve Heder, who has been contracted to analyze our Promoting Accountability Team’s interviews.


Public Information Room (PIR). The PIR gives access to legal personnel (representing both the defense and prosecution), scholars, reporters, and the general public. The Tribunal Response Team will work be housed in the PIR.


The PIR also functions as a library and educational forum. This quarter, we received 225 visitors, hosted guest lectures and training, screened films on the regime, and provided office space for the Pre-trial Outreach and Microfilm Project staff.



Q 2 2004

Q 3 2004

Q 4 2004

Q 1 2005

Q 2 2005

Q 3 2005

Q 4 2005

No. of visitors








*This number is low due to the holiday season; also, we hosted only a small number of conferences/gatherings this quarter.


The PIR has continued to provide space to DC-Cam researchers, family tracing activities, guest meetings, readings, Internet usage, and outreach volunteers. However, it received fewer visitors this quarter – 225 people – owing mainly to the holidays and the smaller number of meetings held at DC-Cam. In addition to providing our visitors with over 3,000 pages of documents and 10 photos, the PIR hosted training sessions on documentary film and a variety of the Center’s projects. It also provided space for such DC-Cam activities as media interviews, public lectures, and informal gatherings of persons interested in the history of the Khmer Rouge era.


The PIR has also provided services to Cambodians at home and abroad to help them locate loved ones who died or disappeared during the Democratic Kampuchea regime. PIR work includes searching databases, documents, and photographs; writing stories on victims and survivors; and publishing letters of inquiry in the Center’s monthly magazine.


This quarter, we published 12 family tracing announcements from people whose relatives disappeared during DK. We also welcomed 17 people who came to the PIR to ask about their relatives, and located information on 3 of them:

  • Chuon Song of Palang village in Kampong Chhnang province requested information on her brother Chuon Kym, who had worked in a children’s unit during DK. We were able to locate Chuon Kym’s biography.

  • Yang Chana of Toek Lor village in Kampong Speu province came to the PIR with two siblings to look for their father’s photograph. We provided it to them.

  • Srun Honglay of Peam Knung in Kampong Cham province asked about her older brother who disappeared in 1976. We were able to locate her brother’s biography.


Publications: Our Tribunal Response Team published an article, “The Unique Way the Khmer Rouge Used Language and its Challenges for Translators,” in Rasmei Kampuchea Daily, December 25-26, 2005.


Youk Chhang’s article, “Lack of Funds Must Not Block Path of Justice,” was published in the Bangkok Post on December 16, 2005


In addition, staff members Bunsou Sour and Dara Vanthan participated in two press conferences organized by the International Bar Association and Office of Administration of the EC, where crucial matters were raised concerning technical, financial, utility, security, and human management for the EC.


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.


This quarter, our PA team continued to operate from field offices in Kampong Speu province.  We interviewed 101 survivors, 52 of whom are former KR cadres; they were largely members of the rank and file (cooks, soldiers, guards, personnel assistants in the health and other sectors).



4th Quarter 2005

To Date

Survivors/former KR cadres interviewed



Interview pages



Records entered into the Accountability Database*




*This quarter, this database was managed by the Tribunal Response Team.


Based on PA interviews conducted since 2001, Dr. Steve Heder, who has been our scholar in residence for the last two years, completed a 242-page report entitled The Analysis of PA Interviews of 170 Cadres Related to the Khmer Rouge Leaders. This report presents new evidence potentially relevant to the prosecution of “senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea” and others “most responsible for serious crimes” committed under the Democratic Kampuchea regime, these being the two categories of suspects subject to trial in the prospective Extraordinary Chambers in the Court system of Cambodia, who can tried in these chambers.


This quarter, the PA team completed filings for 362 folders (KTI0949-1181, KHI0042-0062, PVI0001-0059, and SVI0001-0009), bringing the total to 5,030 folders covering 7 provinces:


  • Kampong Cham: KCI0001-1295 (completed)

  • Kandal: KDI0001-1138 (completed)

  • Takeo: TKI0001-0747 (completed)

  • Kampot: KPI0001-0483 (completed)

  • Kampong Thom: KTI0001-1181 (to be completed)

  • Kampong Speu: KSI0001-0014 (to be completed)

  • Kampong Chhnang: KHI0001-0062 (to be completed)

  • Prey Veng: PVI0001-0059 (to be completed)

  • Svay Rieng: SVI0001-0009 (to be completed).


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


Our Living Documents Project will bring 1,200 people from selected communes around the country to attend courtroom proceedings of the Khmer Rouge tribunal within three years. These villagers will not only see justice done but also will convey messages to their relatives and neighbors that the Cambodian government and the world sympathizes with their tragedy and they are now well protected by the rule of law. They will bring with them materials related to the Khmer Rouge tribunal. To this end, we have been taking preliminary steps to become acquainted with villagers of different ages, genders, and religious beliefs so that we can later select people to attend the trials who are well respected in their villages.


Our earlier pre-trial outreach activities include meetings with nearly 400 Cham Muslim leaders (hakem) from all parts of the country, 32 Buddhist nuns, and members of 12 youth/student associations, and 200 students. The students met with villagers who were given an introduction to the tribunal and asked to reflect on its importance and their participation.


Cham Community Outreach Project. Our work with Cambodia’s Cham community includes an oral history project. DC-Cam has designed a questionnaire with 24 questions concerning the history and experiences of Cham community members during the Khmer Rouge regime. With the participation of hakem and tuans throughout Cambodia, 1,008 questionnaires have now been distributed to 336 Cham villages. To date we have received over 140 completed questionnaires from communities in Banteay Meanchey, Takeo, Koh Kong, Kandal, Battambang, Kampong Thom, Kampot, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Cham provinces, as well as from Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh.


In conjunction with our questionnaire distribution, we are distributing copies of 960 sets of documents related to the upcoming tribunal, including copies of the Khmer Rouge Trial Law and the Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia concerning the conduct of that tribunal. At the same time, we also interviewed 388 Cham religious/community leaders and villagers. In Prey Veng province, our team was accompanied by Amelia Hight, a Thomas J. Watson Fellow from South Africa, who studies genocide memorials. As a result of our field trips and interviews, we have concluded that this community knows little about the process of establishing the EC.


The interviews and completed questionnaires will be used in preparing a special edition of the DC-Cam magazine Searching for the Truth about the Cham. To date, 10 articles have been written and are being translated, and scholars/lawyers are being contacted for the legal and debate sections.


Nuns’ Peace March and Public Forums on Sexual Abuse under DK. Plans for nuns to organize a march for peace and justice in Phnom Penh were finalized in mid 2005. We anticipate that at least 500 nuns from throughout the country will participate, and that the march will be held on the official opening day of the Khmer Rouge trials. DC-Cam will facilitate this march with financial support for transport to and from the provinces. Participating nuns will also assist in hosting 44 public forums that DC-Cam will organize throughout Cambodia, with at least two forums in every province. The exact locations will be determined based in part upon their proximity to known killing and prison sites. These forums will focus on sexual abuses during the Khmer Rouge regime and their continued impacts upon society today. We plan to document these forums with video recordings, including interviews with participants, and to produce radio broadcasts.


Last quarter, we completed logistical and team plans; however, the forums were delayed due to staff allocation and will start in February 2005. During the 4th quarter, we recruited 10 volunteers who attended 10 days of documentary film training by Mr. Doug Kass from the University of Southern California. Classroom topics were camera theory operations, exposure, composition, and lighting, while field practice included trips to three provinces.


The students who attended the training assisted a researcher who is producing a film on Cambodian pop music during the 1960s. Other student volunteers in this quarter have also participated in a number of other activities:


  • Saskia Jan, an MA student from the University of Amsterdam, interviewed five volunteers on student outreach for her research on genocide memorials.

  • NHK TV aired a five-minute spot on the students’ outreach work.

  • Mui Pong Goh, a PhD candidate from Cambridge University, interviewed us on student outreach.

  • Burcu Munyas, who has an MA in peace from the Joan B. Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies of Notre Dame University, interviewed the students on young people’s views on genocide.


Student Outreach Groups. In fall 2004, DC-Cam started planning for student participation in the tribunal process. We then recruited student volunteers to go door-to-door in several areas of Cambodia to explain the process, activities, and benefits of the tribunal to citizens. We selected 171 students and trained them, for example, on how to interview victims and perpetrators.


During their two months of volunteer service, the students visited approximately 250 villages in 20 provinces and 3 cities. There, they recorded 142 interviews with survivors and produced 3,462 written field reports that include the villagers’ life stories, their views on the Khmer Rouge tribunal, and lessons learned. Students also distributed 45,200 copies of project materials (e.g., Khmer Rouge Tribunal Law, KR Law Amendment, UN/Royal Government of Cambodia Agreement, introduction to the Khmer Rouge tribunal, Searching for the Truth no. 58) to 13,100 villagers, with approximately 25,000 others having listened to the student-villager conversations.


At the end of the field trips, eight students were selected to work for DC-Cam between late August and December 2005. Their responsibilities included filing, transcribing, and analyzing the reports described above, and summarizing 3,244 of them. They also compiled 578 questions that villagers asked the students, and transcribed 142 interviews.


4) DC-Cam’s Overseas Office


In the fall of 2004, we set up an office at Rutgers University in the United States to collect and disseminate information on Khmer Rouge history, with a particular emphasis on assisting the Cambodian North American community. This office also serves as a forum for reciprocal exchanges between DC-Cam and Rutgers’ students and faculty, internships/externships, research and training, exhibitions and seminars. In addition, our PIR personnel are available to locate information and provide translations for people interested in the upcoming tribunal. We have been stocking the Rutgers office with DC-Cam monographs, books on the Cambodian genocide, our monthly magazine, microfilms, films, maps, posters, and photographs; when it is complete, the archives will be the largest collection of such documents on the Khmer Rouge in the United States.


This quarter, DC-Cam’s director and deputy director met with the director of the Dana Library and Art Gallery and decided that students can use electronic/database indexes to access our microfilms. We also discussed microfilm storage, custodianship, and digitalization, as well as a large-scale photo exhibition for late 2006 or early 2007. In the meantime, a number of lectures were offered within and outside Rutgers, on the Khmer Rouge (by Ea Meng-Try and Prof. Alex Hinton). Honors class students and three DC-Cam volunteers (who also took the class) have been preparing a small-scale photo exhibition to be mounted on March 28, 2006, as part of an annual event that includes presentation of the class project on Cambodian-American Oral History, documentary film screenings, and survivor-based seminars on the Khmer Rouge.


            5) Public Activities


In this quarter, we participated in a number of public activities inside and outside our office.


Inside the Office. On November 23, 2005, Dara P. Vanthan received Daniel Derzic, First Secretary of Switzerland, and informed him about DC-Cam’s work and KRT developments. On November 28, he met with a group of French journalists at the PIR to discuss the Cambodian Genocide. On November 30, he received a delegation from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development—Division 210 Peace Building and Crisis Prevention, at the PIR. They were interested in DC-Cam’s work and tribunal developments. On December 22, he met with a group of visitors from the Center for Advanced Studies, who came to seek advice on how to deal with national reconciliation after the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Last, Mr. Vanthan met with Mrs. Yusuko Kitano and two Cambodian librarians on October 27, where they discussed the role of libraries in developed countries.


Outside the Office. On October 10, 2005, Dara Vanthan attended a meeting at the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) on the outreach activities implemented by other NGOs.


On October 28, Mr. Vanthan, Bunsou Sour, Sochea Phann, and Osman Ysa joined the UN’s documentary film team in Kampong Speu province. The film focused on the process of DC-Cam’s Promoting Accountability Project.


On November 2, Mr. Vanthan gave a speech on the KR to the group Youth for Peace. On December 9, Khamboly Dy attended a Youth for Peace conference on launching a research project on young people’s views of genocide.


On December 14, Messers. Vanthan and Sour attended two press releases, one by Mark Ellis about his findings on how the International Bar Association would help the KRT, and another made jointly by H.E Sean Visoth, Director of Administration and Ms. Michell Lee, Deputy Director, on the developments in establishing the KRT.


On December 16, Dara Vanthan spoke about KRT developments at a roundtable organized by the Cambodia Center for Human Rights; the meeting was aired on Radio FM105.


DC-Cam advisor John Ciorciari gave a speech on DC-Cam and the KRT: “The Path to Justice after Genocide: the Cambodian Tribunal,” at the University of Connecticut’s School of Law, USA, on November 11.


Kosal Phat took part in a discussion on the KRT at California State University. Other speakers included Kevin Osborne of the U.C. Santa Clara Law School, Prof. Leakhena Nou of CSU Long Beach, and Pansy Peang of the Long Beach community.





Our public education and reconciliation outreach work consists of four activities: 1) efforts to ameliorate the widespread psychological trauma inflicted upon survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime, 2) public education on Khmer Rouge history and the Cambodian Genocide through an established curriculum in Cambodia’s schools, 3) public education through cinematography, and 4) public education through the Internet.  We also conducted a special reconciliation exercise for 50 survivors of the regime.


1) The Victims of Torture (VOT) Project


This two-year project, which was conducted with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO), will reach a turning point in early January 2006, when its product – 302 interviews and associated treatment/counseling will be evaluated by experts. Through this project, we provided counseling for people who suffered abuse under the DK regime, whether victims or perpetrators, and who remain traumatized today.


Before coming to Cambodia, the experts will review our interview summaries and a number of complete interviews. While in Cambodia they will discuss approaches and issues of trauma and healing with VOT team members and with TPO staff. Our team will then accompany the experts to the provinces, where they will interview a representative sample of survivors and evaluate their progress. The experts will then write a 20-page report that will contain advice the most effective and culturally appropriate ways to help trauma victims heal.


The expert team will be led by an anthropologist, Professor Alex Hinton of Rutgers University. Other team members are Mr. Thomas La Pointe and Ms. Nela Navado of from Rutgers, who specialize in linguistics, literature, and culture, with an emphasis on their fields’ role in areas of conflict and the promotion of human rights. The team will consult additional experts while completing their evaluation.


2) Genocide Education


This project aims to provide the Ministry of Education with a short, accurate, and unbiased text on Khmer Rouge history for high school students. We anticipate it will be incorporated into history books by the Cambodian government or published as a supplementary text.


This quarter, our team focused on three main activities.


Text. The text, which includes a general background (the early Communist movement through the establishment of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and its adversary political movements), the DK regime (covering conditions under the regime and a general history), and border conflicts with Vietnam and the fall of DK, is near completion. The text is also being reviewed by Professor Frank Chalk (Concordia University) and Sonia Zylberberg (director of education at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and an educator from the US Memorial Holocaust Museum), among others.


The text has also been sent to the US Holocaust Museum for comments and advice. We have been in contact with Michael Gelb of the Museum’s Academic Publication Division, Stephen Feinberg of the Outreach Education Division, and Joan Ringelheim of the Department of Oral History.


Training. Author Boly Dy audited two classes last fall at Concordia University: one on US foreign relations and another on the comparative study of genocide and international intervention.


Sidebars. We have selected seven stories of victims and perpetrators, as well as songs, slogans, and other DK policy statements, for inclusion in the text as sidebars. After its 2006 publication, we would seek permission to meet schoolteachers to obtain their feedback on the text.


3) Film Project


Our documentary film team received intensive in-house training in October, which is described above in the section on the Buddhist Nun Forum.


The 30-minute documentary The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields: The Story of Rape Survivor Tang Kim has earned US $1,399.9 to date; the money is being used to support the education of Taing Kim’s children. It is planned that the film will be shown at 44 village forums in Cambodia as part of our pre-trial outreach program.


            4) Web Site Development (


The major development this quarter has been the update of the Khmer Rouge chronology and the posting of our new Khmer Rouge databases.


            5) Reconciliation Journey


In an effort to facilitate reconciliation between former Khmer Rouge cadres and their victims, we organized a trip for 50 former perpetrators and survivors from September 23-25, 2005. The participants, who came from Phnom Penh, Kandal, Takeo and Kampot provinces, volunteered for what we called “Our Journey to Search for the Truth and Reconciliation.”  We aimed to observe whether both sides could jointly acknowledge the truth about what happened during the Khmer Rouge regime. During this program five genocidal sites and other sites of interest were visited in each province. In addition, three films in English and French (Khmer Rouge Rice Field: A Story of A Rape Survivor—Tang Kim, S-21: The Killing Machine, and Un Soir Après La Guerre (An Evening after the War) were shown.  The response has been very positive:


  • In early October, Mr. Eab Duch, a former deputy-in-chief of Kraing Ta Chan security center in Takeo, called to say that he had written a 20-page article about this journey, and he would like to see it published in our magazine. We published his article, “A Tour to Reconcile,” in the November 2005 edition.



  • In December, Kher Munthit of the Associated Press wrote an article entitled “Khmer Rouge victims and executioners seek reconciliation—Cambodians meet again at prisons and mass graves” on the journey. It was published in the Boston Globe on December 21, 2005.





Our research, translation and publication work consists of three activities: 1) original historical research and writing on Khmer Rouge history and the Cambodian Genocide by DC-Cam staff and outside scholars, 2) translation into Khmer of foreign language publications relevant to DC-Cam’s work, and 3) encouraging public participation in compiling the history of the Khmer Rouge regime and the Cambodian Genocide.


1) Historical Research and Writing


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


This quarter, we published a book entitled Tum Teav, A Translation and Analysis of a Cambodian Literary Classic, by George Chigas.


Another manuscript written by our legal advisor John Ciorciari, other DC-Cam advisors, and our 2005 legal interns is now being reviewed by Professor David Chandler and will be published in 2006. Along with a general introduction, the chapters cover the shaping of the tribunal, crimes to be charged, mechanics of the tribunal, proving Khmer Rouge abuses, and the goals of the tribunal. 


We have assembled our research and writing experience into a research manual for our staff and other researchers who write about Khmer Rouge history. With an aim to finalize the manual, in November 2005, staff member Sorya Sim audited a class on Field Research Methodology and Transitional Justice by Professor Alex Hinton and one on Oral History at Rutgers University, which was taught by Professor Sherri Ann Butterfield. Mr. Sim also improved the manual based on his exchanges with Rutgers professors and students. In addition, he received helpful comments from Dr. Joan Ringelheim of the US Holocaust Museum’s Department of Oral History and Dr. Joyce Apsel of New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Education, who provided textbooks on genocide research methodology. The manual will be used to train a pool of students over the summer of 2006.


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. Following interviews and archival research in Cambodia, Vietnam, and France, this quarter, he has completed the first draft of his manuscript, which will be published in DC-Cam’s Documentation Series in 2006. This monograph will include an introductory chapter mainly about methodology, a history of the KR tribunal, and an assessment of the death toll among monks during Democratic Kampuchea. The other chapters examine the roles of monks early in the regime, the Khmer Rouge’s treatment of Buddhism, biographies of selected monks, surviving monks, and the re-emergence of Buddhism after the Khmer Rouge.


Last, Dr. Stephen Heder completed a report analyzing DC-Cam’s interviews with Khmer Rouge cadres (see Section 2.2).  This report is reserved for internal use and available upon request only.


We hope to publish several other manuscripts in 2006:

  • The Cham Rebellion by Osman Ysa

  • Winds from the West: Khmer Rouge Purges in the Highlands of Mondul Kiri, by Sara Colm and Sorya Sim

  • An as-yet untitled photoarchive monograph on the new people by Wynne Cougill and Pivoine Beang

  • A textbook on the history of Democratic Kampuchea for Cambodian high school students by Khamboly Dy

  • DC-Cam’s outreach materials for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

We also provided assistance to two authors on books/articles they were publishing:

  • Cattedrali Di Cenere, by Marco Del Corona, EDT, 2005

  •  “Exposed Singularity,” by Jenny Edkins, in the Journal for Cultural Research, Vol. 9, No. 4, Oct. 2005.

2) Translation and Publication of Foreign Books


This quarter, we published When the War was Over, by Elizabeth Becker, translated by Tep Meng Khean and Irene Sokha. Next quarter, we will publish Journey to Light, by Ronnie Yimsuth, translated by Kok-Thay Eng.


We are seeking for funds to publish the completed translation of:

  • Lucky Child, by Loung Ung, translated by Rachana Phat

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

Next year, we plan to publish translations of:

  • Tum Teav, A Translation and Analysis of a Cambodian Literary Classic, by George Chigas.

  • Getting Away with Genocide by Tom Fawthrop and Helen Jarvis

  • When Broken Glass Floats: Growing up under the Khmer Rouge, by Chanrithy Him

We also continued to translate.


3) Research Forum: Preserving the History of the Khmer Rouge Regime


The winner of the essay contest that DC-Cam has been co-sponsoring with the Khmer Writers Association will be announced in April 2006. To date we have received 17 submissions. This low participation rate could have resulted from low public education and traditional fear of political involvement, among other reasons. We have decided to increase and diversify our announcements and expand our target writers to include children of the survivors and teachers/government officials.





            1) The Magazine Project


This quarter, we produced three issues of Searching for the Truth in Khmer, which contained approximately 40 articles/letters/editorials and 70 photographs. We also published 12 announcements on missing relatives. Our editorials appealed to the Extraordinary Chambers (EC) to take the measures necessary to ensure that the Cambodian public is well-informed of the tribunal, and stressed that the EC’s public relations officer should be fluent in Khmer and comfortable working with the Cambodian public, as well as ensuring that the staff recruitment process is a transparent one. Our articles this quarter covered mainly survivor stories, legal articles related to the defense counsel, and debate about the Khmer Rouge tribunal. In addition, we published another quarterly English Edition of the magazine containing selected contents from the three Khmer versions.


LICADHO continued to help us distribute our magazine. We sold 33 copies of the Khmer edition and 160 of the English edition, and distributed 15,257 copies of the Khmer edition and 252 of the English edition free of charge.


In addition, we opened an in-house print shop this quarter; it will be ready to operate next quarter. The print shop can produce 5,000 to 7,000 one-color pages per hour. In the near future, we will be able to print our magazine as well as our monographs, from this print shop, making our publications more cost-effective.


            2) Radio Broadcasts


This quarter, we read and broadcast articles from Searching for the Truth, Anne Frank and Stilled Lives on the radio station. The table below shows the 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

Stilled Live

Oct. 2002

May 2003

July 2004

 Nov 2005






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

Stilled Live

Jun. 2004

Aug. 2004

Aug. 2004

Jan. 2005

Nov 2005






Preah Vihear

FM99 MHz

7:00-7:30 a.m.

6:30-7:00 p.m.


First They Killed My Father

Introduction to KR trial

Searching for the truth

Anne Frank’s Diary

Stilled Life

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

Stilled Life

Feb. 2005

Feb. 2005

Nov 2005





Our magazine and radio projects have enabled DC-Cam to disseminate the results of its documentation and research work to a very broad segment of the Cambodian populace. In doing so, we have not only greatly expanded the audience for our efforts at documenting the Cambodian Genocide, but we have also made a significant contribution towards ending the historical gap in access to information between Cambodia’s urban and rural populations. For example:


  • A researcher named Toch Vannarith found the name of his father’s friend Oeng Sok in our magazine. Oeng Sok served in the Commerce Ministry during DK. Mr. Vannarith told us that Oeng Sok’s wife and two daughters are now living in Battamang.


  • A man named Dean living in Canada saw the names of his relatives Preap Tuot, Chao Vorn, and Chao Preoung in issues 65 and 66 of Searching for the Truth. He asked us to search for a photograph of his grandfather, Chao Preoung. We found the photograph and sent it to him.





This quarter, we are pleased to announce that one of our staff members will pursue advanced degree studies next year. Simala Pan will join the Masters Program in Leisure, Tourism, and Environment at Wagenigen University, Netherlands, in Fall 2006.


In addition, two staff members have been invited to a conference and short training next year:


  • Sophal Ly will show DC-Cam’s documentary The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields at Osaka University on January 28, 2006


  • Osman Ysa will discuss his book The Cham Rebellion at the University of Hawaii in March 2006


  • Staff members Osman Ysa and Sophary Noy have been invited to attend Sida’s International Training Programme 2006, studying Human Rights and Disability (May) and Project Management (April), respectively.


Media Articles


DC-Cam works to maintain public interest in, and momentum for, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and memory and Justice in Cambodia. Below is a sampling of the 110 articles we clipped this quarter that covered the tribunals, Khmer Rouge regime, and/or DC-Cam activities.

  • Elizabeth Becker, “An Unforgettable Voice—Life of Huot Bophana,” Raskmei Kampuchea Daily, October 10, 2005

  •  “India Contributes $1 million for Khmer Rouge Trials,” October 8, 2005 <>

  • Jaya Ramji and Beth Van Schaack, Beth, “Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice: Prosecuting Mass Violence Before the Cambodian Courts,” Edwin Mellen Press, 2005,, October 3, 2005

  • Seth Mydans, “In Killing Field, Khmer memories for sale,” International Herald Tribune, October 25, 2005

  •  “UN Seeks Transfer of Old Funds to add to Cambodia’s Budget for Khmer Rouge Tribunal,” AP, December 16, 2005

  • “Documenting Cambodia’s Genocide, Survivors Finds Peace,” National Geographic News, December 2, 2005

  • Yin Leang Kun, “Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia Wants Documentary Films of the Four Regimes,” Resmei Kampuchea, December 8, 2005 (this article concerns documentaries from Democratic Kampuchea that are being held in France.

  • Nusara Thaitawat, “Cambodians Hardly Well-Served,” Bangkok Post, December 8, 2005

  • Erik Wasson, “UN Administrator Confident of Trial Funds,” Cambodia Daily, December 10-11, 2005

  • Mut Sruoch, “Nuon Chea Said This Tribunal Is Not to Convict Him but To Judge the Invaders,” Moneaksekar Khmer, December 12, 2005

  • Michelle Vachon, “Actions Speak Loudest,” Cambodia Daily, November 27, 2005

  • Erik Wasson, “Retired King Says Nixon, Kissinger Helped KR,” Cambodia Daily, November 22, 2005.


7. DC-Cam’s Work with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal


The fourth quarter of 2005 marked an important turning point in the long-awaited trials of senior Khmer Rouge leaders.


On December 12, 2005, UN Tribunal Coordinator Michele Lee and her team visited DC-Cam’s archives. The team included the Chiefs of Security, Information and Communications Technology, Budget and Finance, and General Services, as well as officials from the United Nations Headquarters in New York—Anne-Marie Ibanez from the Department of Political Affairs and David Huchinson from the Office of Legal Affairs. They talked with the Tribunal Response Team, and we gave her a set of microfilms of our documents for use by tribunal personnel. The microfilms contain all of the records on the Khmer Rouge regime that DC-Cam possesses. At Michele Lee’s request, we offered the use of our office space, should personnel from the Extraordinary Chambers need it, including teams from the defense and prosecution, as well as the services of our researchers.


Subsequently, we received an official request from the UN team to look into certain materials.

Dr. Steve Heder, a scholar on Democratic Kampuchea from the University of London who has a long association with DC-Cam, was officially contracted by the UN to compile “a list of open source documents and interview transcripts of general relevance and potential importance for the tribunal.” Dr. Heder made an informal request to view DC-Cam’s documents related to Democratic Kampuchea and the Communist Party of Kampuchea to double check and expand his existing collection.


In December, DC-Cam’s director Youk Chhang accompanied US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli to visit the court building and examine security and construction plans with the UN/Cambodian Government team.


Prepared by

Sorya Sim and Wynne Cougill