Third Quarterly Report:

July - September 2005


This report describes the Documentation Center of Cambodia’s (DC-Cam) activities for the third quarter of 2005 (July to September). The impacts for specific projects are described individually for each project.




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


Documentation. We have entered 3,900 records in an Access List this quarter, and keyed in 12,630 records into our database in Khmer and English. In addition, we microfilmed 9,769 pages of our documents. Last, we conducted 12 interviews for a new photo-archive book.


Promoting Accountability. We interviewed 145 survivors, 16 of whom were Khmer Rouge cadres. Working on our pre-trial outreach project, students traveled throughout the country and talked to nearly 40,000 villagers. They also produced 3,463 reports on villagers’ experiences under Democratic Kampuchea and their views on the Khmer Rouge tribunal. Logistics and training modules are ready for 44 village forums, which will begin in November 2005. To date, 132 completed questionnaires have been collected and 49 additional interviews were conducted on Cham oral history.


Public Education and Reconciliation Outreach. From July to September, we conducted three legal training sessions on the role of defense counsel at the planned Khmer Rouge Tribunal. A final draft of our text on the Khmer Rouge regime for high school students was reviewed and is being readied for final reviews by scholars. We also completed a two-year project working with victims of torture in cooperation with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization. Our pre-trial outreach activities progressed as we sent groups of student volunteers into the provinces to conduct interviews and distribute trial-related documents. The Khmer language version of our website is nearing completion and is slated to go online early next year.


Research, Translation, and Publication. Two monographs were sent to the printing house: When the War Was Over by Elizabeth Becker and Tum Teav by George Chigas. Two will be sent to the printing house next quarter: The Cham Rebellion by Osman Ysa and Journey to Life by Ronnie Yimsuth. Another monograph is at advanced stage of editing. Two book translations have been completed 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. In addition, in August 2005 we ran an all-out broadcast of an introduction to the Khmer Rouge tribunal.





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


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). These databases hold information on both Khmer Rouge personnel and their victims, and because they are Internet-accessible and available on CD-Rom, can be utilized by expatriate Cambodians as well.


In 2004, we completed the cataloguing of our D collection. It contains general Khmer Rouge documents: notebooks, biographies, confessions, reports, and execution logs, as well as 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. This quarter, we completed keying the last 7,079 of the D collection records into our database, bringing the total to 24,184 records in Khmer and another 5,551 records in English. 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 catalogued 530 “R” (Renakse) documents this quarter. 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.


In a parallel effort to facilitate public inquiry and research, we have entered 72,186 records 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.



3rd Quarter 2005

To Date

D Collection: keyed records (Khmer)



D Collection: keyed records (English)



R Collection: cataloged documents



I, K, D, and L Collections: Access List



I Collection: records updated for index book




 *The activity was speeded up with help of two additional volunteers.

**This activity slowed down as staff were occupied with core work


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 teams add information. We have updated over half of the book.


Earlier this year international experts from our Affinity Group (see below) began assisting us in the design and development of a more user-friendly database with increased capacity and a new format/field design. A local company, Lemon Computers, began working on putting our data into the MySQL program. This process has been completed for the CGEO, CBIO, CBIB, and CTS databases. We are now in the process of having the results reviewed, and hope to give final approval by next quarter. The company has agreed that it will not take any reimbursement for its work until DC-Cam is satisfied with the product. This program is expected to be up-and-running on our website by January 2006.


 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 Team’s interviews.



3rd Quarter 2005


To Date


PA Collection microfilm*

23 / 9,769

70 / 44,318

PA Collection microfilm development



Duplicate/develop collections for Rutgers (I/J)




*During 1998-2004, we produced 497 reels of documents from our D, I, J, K, L, and R 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 we recently opened an office. During the first quarter of 2005 we sent a set of 93 microfilm reels and other materials available at DC-Cam to Rutgers. Approximately 500 reels will have been sent by October of this year, and will be available for use at the Rutgers’ Library. 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 to describe the Cambodian genocide and learn from visitors’ views, as well as to facilitate reconciliation between victims and perpetrators. Last quarter, we mounted an ongoing exhibition from our monograph Stilled Lives: Photographs from the Cambodian Genocide. It contains photographs and brief stories on 17 former Khmer Rouge. The exhibit’s opening on April 17, 2005 marked the 30th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge’s takeover of Cambodia.


DC-Cam has mounted four exhibitions at Tuol Sleng to date; each is displayed in a classroom-turned prison cell from the KR regime. They were entitled “The Khmer Rouge Leaders,” “Victims of History,” “Forensic Exhibition,” and “Stilled Lives.”


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


  • I just visited this museum. I am feeling extreme pain. I hate this regime so much. I will to kill those traitors with my own hands---Cambodia

  • Don’t worry un-peaceful spirits, the truth will be revealed—USA

  • Deeply sorry of the ignorance and cruelty of human beings. Please do rest in peace in heaven for your courageous spirits are to be regarded high in the heart of all the fellow race—Malaysia

  • I have seen the photos, I have read the testimonies, I pray--Australia

  • Like many others, I am trying hard to express the deep-rooted grief I feel for victims of this tragedy, on all sides, and those who have suffered or are suffering similar...but where the words? We seem to make the same mistakes, bring out the weapons every time. I hope I am not naive to dream of a time humanity will finally learn to love and respect to truly live—UK

  • I found the museum to cause me to raise more question than I already had. I highly respect the Cambodian people for bringing to light this aspect of their history. If we look though our history, we can all see regardless of what country we claim—the harm we have inflicted on others and continue to even this very day. With colonization being replaced with globalization—no country is innocent. Europe and its extermination of native Americans in the U.S. and Latin America; Australia; Africa. I think we need to remain conscious of who we point our fingers at...what do we honestly see when we look into the mirror and at what expense are we willing to make our voice and our actions felt. We have to be the change we wish to see in the world. Ghandi—Mexico

  • Very educational, an eye opener...—Philippines


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).



3nd 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 Phnom Penh for safety or economic reasons.


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.

We have learned that the “New People” who contributed photographs wish to have the originals returned, while “Base People” (those with rural backgrounds) prefer an enlarged copy of their original photo (DC-Cam retains the originals). We are pleased to see a steady increase in participation in this new book. Both overseas and in-country essay contest writers responded well to our inquiries about their stories or photographs: from France and Koh Kong, for example. An individual from Takeo province deposited his old photographs at DC-Cam in order to preserve them for history.


Documentation Project Impacts


As our name indicates, documentation lies at the heart of DC-Cam’s work, and to some extent provides the basis for all of our other projects and activities. Preserving the documentary evidence of the history, policies, activities and crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime is an absolute prerequisite to any effort at ensuring that such a regime is never permitted to rise again. While our progress in this work is quantifiable in terms of documents catalogued, archived and copied, the true impact of DC-Cam’s documentation work is the real, if immeasurable, degree to which it contributes to realizing the promise, “never again!”


Affinity Group. 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.


In the first meeting in Phnom Penh on March 1-5, 2005, the Affinity Group participants discussed strategic and technical issues. The second meeting was held at the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade on June 20-25, 2005 to 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 collections. The technical subjects addressed included document protection, digitalizing videos and documents, evaluations of databases (DC-Cam, ICTJ, and the Iraq Memory Foundation), model information systems, and manuals and guidelines. DC-Cam’s database team leader Ros Sampeou attended the meeting. Beside the need for digitizing, DC-Cam has learned that its transcriptions of interviews are exactly in line with the thoughts of oral historian Marijana Toma. The next two meetings will take places in Guatemala and Kurdistan. The group hoped to be able to meet at the Rockefeller Residence in Bellagio, Italy to write final documents reflecting on the successes and failures of the Affinity Group.


In September 21, 2005, the Affinity Group made an appeal to the Government of Guatemala to take urgent measures to protect the security of, and prevent death threats against, staff and individuals associated with Affinity Group member Fundacion de Antropologia Forense de Guatemala (FAFG). The appeal continues, “This cannot be allowed to continue...We write as concerned members of the international community. We represent six non-governmental organizations, most of which are very similar to the FAFG, from countries around the world. We have formed a working group on concerns related to documentation, and we meet regularly to discuss issues of concern. We have the knowledge and authority to state unequivocally that the FAFG, one of our founding members, is a highly professional organization committed to human rights and democracy. The work they do depends on the highest stands.”


Cambodian Red Cross. On August 10, 2005, we received a request from the Red Cross to help trace a person named Choeung Chamroeun, a student in Germany who disappeared in 1974. This search is under way. Recent examples of public requests for searching our databases include the following:


  • Mr Benjamin Valverde, a Cambodge Soir journalist, came to our PIR room,and asked database team leader Sampeou Ros to locate biographies of Hun Sen, Chea Sim and Khieu Samphan. Mr. Ros printed them and gave Valverde hard copies.


  • On August 17, magazine staff Chy Terith asked our database team leader to find the biography of a person named Ou Lam, a former student in France and who had worked in the Ministry of Planning during the Lon Nol regime. Ou Lam’s wife Sausipha, who is living in Kampong Thom province, requested this information. We are happy to report that we found her husband’s biography in our database, and learned that Ou Lam was arrested along with other students when they returned from France in 1976 and were sent to the office S-21. We sent Sausipha her husband’s biography and prisoner photograph.


  • On August 18, magazine staff member Kalyan Sann requested the biography of Choeun Chamroeun, a former technical school student in Dresden, Germany between 1971 and 1974. He returned to Cambodia in 1974, but then disappeared. Information on him was requested by Chamroeun’s Rebekka Mucha, a Cambodian-Germany citizen living in Potsdam Unfortunately, we could not find his father’s biography in our database.


  • On August 19, after our PA team had interviewed former Khmer Rouge in Prey Veng province, we received a call from Chum Neou aka Chum Phy, former soldier in logistical unit 14 in Prey Veng district, region 20. She asked if we could locate her husband’s biography. Her husband (called Ngou Moeun) was also a soldier in unit 14, but had disappeared. Unfortunately, we could not find her husband’s information in our database.


  • We helped filmmaker Marc Ebercle to prepare for a documentary film on Cambodian music of the 1960s. During August 19-27, 2005, we helped independent filmmaker Steve McClure from the USA to produce a documentary Rain Falls from Earth. McClure explained, “The title is taken from a person who once said, ‘If the Khmer Rouge told you that rain falls from the earth, not the sky, you agreed or you would be killed for being an intellectual.’ The film takes a very personal approach on how people of all ages and walks of life were affected by the regime...and the story is also one of hope and how personal strength and courage eventually prevailed...I am hoping it educates a society that is mostly unaware of what happened in your country so this type of atrocity can never happen again...Please let me know if you might have time to meet and allow us to include the important work that DC-Cam has done in our film.”


  • On August 26, 2005, a participant in DC-Cam’s legal training course saw a photo of his deceased sister in the July 2002 issue of Searching for the Truth. Ros Suy, 51, from Kandal province was able to learn that his sister disappeared in 1977.


  • On July 13, 2005, a group of young Cambodians led by Pin Bunreas from Babel Studios requested and received 70 photographs from Democratic Kampuchea. The group will use the photographs as part of their music video project, which will include songs that describe their parents’ experiences during DK and their moves to America.


  • On September 12, 2005, PA team member Sochea Phann requested the biographies of 12 people who had worked as medical personnel in Sre Ambel unit, staff at a printing house, soldiers in Division 310, and cooks and messengers for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Khmer Rouge era. After locating their biographies in our database (listed below), we provided copies to Mr. Serey of Radio Free Asia.


1. Net (I07033)

2. Sorn Duch (I06655)

3. Ney Soeun (I06664)

4. Phon (I05443)

5. Chek Sam (I08565)

6. San Mao (I04516)

7. Keo Ne (I05417)

8. Chin Sam (I00086)

9. Sakhoeun (I04123)

10. Lay Ien (I06297)

11. Mak Tork (I08939)

12. Mae Phea (I08839)


  • On the same day, Sin Hin, 60, of Pursat province came to the PIR room and asked us to search for the biography and photograph of hi his older brother Sin Dam. We were able to find his biography and learned that during Democratic Kampuchea, he was a train worker in Phnom Penh. He was arrested at his unit on January 24, 1976 and later sent Tuol Sleng.


  • On September 15, Sao Thach, 57, of Pursat province came into the PIR and asked for the biography and photo of her husband Koam Thet (she had seen her husband’s photo in Issue 67 of our magazine. We provided these to her; according to his biography, Koam Thet was a former student of construction engineering, was arrested at office K-15 on October 23, 1976, and sent to S-21.


  • On August 29, 2005, two groups of villagers from Svay Rieng province came to request information on their deceased relatives. A group of three persons led by Chan Sam Eat, 36, requested their father’s photo and confession. Another group of three led by Suos Sarim, 53, requested information on her brother Suos Savann who died at S-21. In both cases, we found photographs and provided them to the villagers.





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 to punish those responsible for these crimes 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.


Regarding the prospects for the establishment of a tribunal for senior Khmer Rouge leaders and those most responsible for crimes committed under their rule, problems arose with respect to the Royal Government of Cambodia’s funding obligations for the tribunal during the 3rd Quarter. However, events (for example, the United Nation’s August announcement that it had chosen the deputy director for the tribunal’s administrative office) seem to indicate that the prospects for the tribunal commencing in the near future remain strong. 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 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, scholars’ interviews with former Communist Party of Kampuchea officials, mapping reports, and photographs.


Guidelines for Access. 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.


During the first quarter we updated the guidelines and sent them to our advisors for comment. Our advisors are also compiling and analyzing materials such as a foreseeable draft agreement between the UN and the government on archival materials, existing analyses of the proposed National Archive Law, general principles of evidence concerning original documents, and ICTY’s relevant rules on document authenticity. The team might propose to the government, UN, or tribunal a draft agreement that only copies are to be used in the proceedings, if it is not necessary to show the documents. Given the recent (September 2005) distribution of a proposed Draft National Archive Law, our legal experts are also examining its potential impacts on our access guidelines and will be proposing any changes deemed necessary to comply with applicable laws. These guidelines are expected to be finalized during a meeting with two of our legal advisors this coming December.


A Response Team for the Tribunal. In late 2003 we began to plan for a “Tribunal Response Team.” This team will comprise Cambodian and non-Cambodian lawyers, political scientists, and historians. Two of these experts will work on the team full time and 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 the tribunal and other 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. 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. In this quarter our staff member Sour Bunsou, who recently received an L.L.M from the University of Essex, UK, will begin working as a team leader. The team’s priority actions will include reporting 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, coordinating the above-mentioned access guide, and monitoring the trials. 


Public Information Room (PIR). The PIR gives access 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, we received 689 visitors, hosted guest lectures and training, screened films on the regime, and provided office space for our Victims of Torture and Microfilm Project staff. The PIR also hosted our Legal Training Program for defense counsel during this quarter.



Q 2 2004

Q 3 2004

Q 4 2004

Q 1 2005

Q 2 2005

Q 3 2005

Number of visitors








The PIR has continued to provide space to legal training interns, our pre-trial outreach student volunteers, DC-Cam researchers, family tracing activities, guest meetings, readings, Internet usage, and database volunteers.


Our PIR became busier this quarter, accommodating legal trainees, trainers and volunteer students on the pre-trial outreach project. Nearly 700 people visited the PIR, with over 1700 documents and 100 photos being copied. This quarter, it hosted training sessions on the DC-Cam library, a variety of the Center’s projects, and the Khmer Rouge Law. The PIR also provided accommodations for many other DC-Cam activities, including media interviews, public lectures, and informal gatherings of persons interested in the history of the Khmer Rouge era for both personal and academic reasons.


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.


To date, we have received 70 letters from people concerning relatives who disappeared during the regime. We also welcomed 13 people who came to the PIR to ask about their relatives. As a result we located the names of 26 persons who disappeared during DK and gave biographies, photos and confessions to them.


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 Chhnang and Prey Veng provinces.



3rd Quarter 2005

To Date

Survivors/former KR cadres interviewed



Interview pages



Records entered into the Accountability Database




*A larger percentage of cadres in the Eastern Zone were massacred than in other zones. Because our work focused in the Eastern Zone this quarter, the rate of interviews is low.

**This number is constant because all team members spent all their time in the field this quarter.


Last year, a manuscript was produced by Dr. Stephen Heder, based on his analysis of nearly 2,000 interviews (30,000 pages) DC-Cam 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. This manuscript will be analyzed by our legal advisor John Ciorciari in November 2005. In this quarter, Dr. Heder has started to analyze PA interview scripts with a new focus on building middle- and lower-rank chains of command. As Dr. Heder reports this work in this quarter:


“English summaries of an additional 45 PA interviews have been completed. These include interviews conducted in Kompong Cham, Kompong Thom, Kandal, Takeo, Kampot, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces. The interviewees come primarily from military units, security forces, government ministries and hospitals in Phnom Penh. Their testimonies make reference to potential suspects for criminal prosecution in a Khmer Rouge Tribunal, such as Nuon Chea, Ta Mok, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan, and Duch. They add to the indications of these potential suspects’ involvement in or knowledge of international and domestic crimes within the tribunal’s jurisdiction. They also provide additional historical and sociological information about the rise and fall of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, life and death under its rule. They also further elucidate the experiences and attitudes of the mostly menial Khmer Rouge who are the interviewees, including their retrospective views of the Khmer Rouge regime and their hopes and fears regarding prosecution of the Khmer Rouge crimes.”


The PA Project has also created a filing system that includes transcripts, biographies, photographs, relevant documents such as confessions and execution lists, and audio tapes. So far we have filed 4,961 folders and 2,080 audio tapes. The files completed are: Kampong Cham: KCI0001-1295, Kandal: KDI0001-1138, Takeo: TKI0747, Kampot: KPI0001-KPI0483, and Pursat: PTI0001-PTI0053. Those to be completed include: Kampong Thom: KTI0001-1076, Kampong Speu: KSI0001-0019, Prey Veng: PVI0001-0005, Svay Rieng: SVI0001-0005, and Kampong Chhnang: KHI0001-0081. 


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


In our Living Documents Project, we will bring 1,200 people from selected communes around the country to attend courtroom proceedings of the Khmer Rouge tribunal within three years. These respected 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 and familiarize ourselves with villagers and people of different ages, genders, and religious beliefs. We have been meeting with nearly 400 Cham Muslim leaders (hakem) from all parts of the country, 32 Buddhist nuns, and members of 12 youth and student associations since 2004. During the second quarter participants 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 132 completed questionnaires from 53 Cham communities in Banteay Meanchey, Takeo, Koh Kong, Kandal, Battambang, Kampot, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Cham provinces, as well as from Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. These responses will be used in a special edition of the DC-Cam magazine Searching for the Truth about the Cham.


In conjunction with our distribution of the Cham history questionnaire, we are also distributing copies 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.


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 last quarter. 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 approximately 44 public forums to be organized by DC-Cam 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 perpetrated 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. As we have completed the logistical and team plans this quarter, the forums will begin in November 2005.


Student Outreach Groups. In the fall of 2004, 22 student associations formed a Student Council for Justice (“SCJ”), with the aim of planning for student participation in the tribunal process. DC-Cam has joined in this student initiative and 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. Approximately 171 students were selected from a pool of nearly 200 volunteers and were trained at DC-Cam. Their training included addresses by His Excellency Mr. Maonh Saphan, then Chief of the Legal Commission of the Cambodian national Assembly, and His Excellency Mr. Sean Visoth, General Executive of the Secretariat of the Royal Government Task Force of the Council of Ministers, as well as visits to Tuol Sleng and the viewing of documentary films on the Cambodian Genocide. The students committed to a two-month period of voluntary service. Further training sessions included meetings with DC-Cam researchers on how to interview victims and perpetrators.


To date, approximately 250 villages in 20 provinces and 3 cities have been reached by our student outreach volunteers. During their visits, the students have recorded over 142 interviews with survivors and produced 3,463 written field reports that include the villagers’ life stories, their views on the Khmer Rouge tribunal, and lessons the students learned. Eight students were selected to work on filing, transcribing, and analyzing the reports, and have 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.


Student outreach volunteer Kea Seyha described her field interview with one survivor:


“When I first arrived at his house, he looked unhappy and perhaps thought that I had come to cheat people. After I introduced myself and clearly explained the purpose of my visit, he agreed to be interviewed, and spent quite a long time with me. He did not seem to be afraid, and described with animation his life under the Khmer Rouge. However, his mood changed when speaking of the loss of loved ones to the regime. This man was impressed by our gift of the documents we had brought, and when last I saw him as I walked away, he was reading the materials intently beneath his home.”


During her interviews in Stung Treng province, student outreach volunteer Thol Dina met with a 51-year-old man who had lived with Cambodian returnees from North Vietnam in Kratie province, before the “Liberation.” This man stated that none of those returnees was spared, and that he himself was sent to Phnom Penh, where he eventually ended up in a work unit tending vegetables near the Royal Palace, surrounded by 30 or 40 guards. This man would see the Khmer Rouge leadership attending technical training. He stated that he hoped to see the establishment of a tribunal, but doubted that a Cambodian court would deliver justice for the victims. This man seemed very willing to tell what he knew, and hoped that it would help the younger generation of Cambodians.


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. 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. Particularly in this quarter, we discussed ways of updating our indexes, storing documents, and digitalizing our microfilms. We also keep updating our news clips.


Another program activity is set to be launched on March 28, 2006. Entitled “Documentation Center of Cambodia Year-Event,” it will cover:


  • Introduction to Cambodian genocide and Documentation Center of Cambodia

  • Film screenings

  • Photo exhibitions

  • Lecture/guest speakers series

  • Oral histories of Cambodian-Americans.


We are currently in the process of recruiting a new office administrator at Rutgers.


Promoting Accountability Project Impacts


Any accounting for the crimes perpetrated under the Khmer Rouge regime will be for naught in the absence of Cambodian public participation and understanding of the process. As the only ongoing effort to ensure as broad a participation by the people of Cambodia as possible in the proposed Khmer Rouge Tribunal, DC-Cam’s promoting accountability activities are making a significant contribution in this area. Examples of the project’s impacts include:


  • Staff members Osman Ysa and Sophary Noy have been accepted into Sida’s International Training Programme 2006, and will be participating in the Human Rights and Disability (May) and Project Management (April) programs, respectively.


  • On September 8, 2005 staff member Sochea Phann participated as a guest speaker at an FM 102 radio discussion program on the Role of the Royal Cambodian Government and International Community in the Support of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal organized by the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee.


  • DC-Cam staff members Sour Bunsou, Phan Sochea, and Vanthan Peou Dara participated in a meeting that discussed a draft recommendation paper on Internal Regulations of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on September 21, 2005 at the Cambodian Defenders Project office in Phnom Penh.


Cham Outreach


  • Farina So’s article “Education Needed for Cham Women in Cambodia” was published in the 3rd edition of AMANA. Her interview with RFA was aired on August 8. Last, her paper “The Study of Qur’an vs Modern Education for Islamic Women in Cambodia” was published as a five-part series in Kampuchea Thmei in September 2005.


  • Anges De Feo, a French researcher on the Cham interviewed Ms. So on her paper.


Student Outreach


  • An article about DC-Cam’s Student Outreach program appeared in the July 1 issue of Cambodge Soir. It will be distributed to villages nationwide as the tribunal draws near.

  • Volunteer Meng-Try Ea wrote an article for the July 1 issue of The Cambodia Daily about disseminating information on the tribunal and urged the government to announce the date for the trials of the KR Trial.

  • On July 15, DC-Cam staff Em Sokhym and Vanthan Peou Dara gave a presentation at a meeting organized by the Cambodian Justice Initiative on DC’Cam’s trial outreach activities. 34 students and representatives of academia, media, human rights NGOs/UN, embassies, and aid agencies attended.

  • On July 29, Mr. Ea and DC-Cam deputy directors Sorya Sim and Dara Vanthan were invited to talk about the Outreach Program at the “Sunday Talk” program on CTN TV (Cambodian Television Network). They discussed what, where, when, why, and how the volunteer students will conduct their work, and urged other students to participate in the process.


  • On August 4, 2005, Dara Vanthan and other NGO representatives spoke about the role of NGOs in the KRT at a live talk show on radio FM102.


  • On August 8, the governor of Pursat’s Kandieng district called for a meeting with the student group. He wrote a letter to show the villagers’ and his own positive attitude toward DC-Cam, and requested that we bring the tribunal materials to other villages. He also asked that DC-Cam hold workshop at schools on the KRT.

  • On August 9, Cambodia Daily staff went to Takeo with the student group. They interviewed the students on how they find the former KR cadres and villagers on how they have reconciled within their communities. On August 12, The Cambodia Daily published an article about their trip entitled “KR Trial Project Unearths Haunting Memories.”

  • On August 13, nine DC-Cam staff went to Kampong Speu with three people who are doing research on genocide memorials. They interviewed the students on canvassing villagers and learning the history of KR era.

  • On August 14, NHK Japanese TV filmed student volunteers interacting with village people, and interviewed them on why they volunteered at DC-Cam and how it benefits the young generation.

  • On August 18, Saskia Jans, an MA student at the University of Amsterdam, interviewed our volunteer staff on the Student Outreach program, its value, and villagers’ reactions to the tribunal.

  • Volunteer Mouly Vichhra, a law student at Royal University School of Law and Economics, was recruited to work for the Open Society Justice Initiative as a research assistant.

  • On September 14: Osman Yse met with Emiko Stock, a French researcher, to discuss his books, The Cham Rebellion and Oukoubah. Mr. Ysa also discussed the consequence of the Khmer Rouge persecution on Cham Muslims and how it still negatively affects their lives.

  • On September 21, filmmakers from the NHK TV filmed Osman Ysa transcribing interviews as part of their documentary film on the Khmer Rouge.


  • On September 22, Sochea Phann met Sar Sovannara, a reporter from ABC Radio Australia. Mr. Phann gave him the names and addresses of surviving S-21 prisoners and a CD of interviews with KR victims in Takeo and Kandal provinces for his story.


  • Also on September 22, Mr. Phann was one of eight participants in a forum organized by Comfrel that was broadcast on local radio. The topic was the Decisions and Ordinances of the court in the draft law on Civil Procedure.

  • On September 28, 2005, Osman Ysa was invited by the University of Hawaii to speak about his research on Cham Muslims under the Khmer Rouge in the Spring of 2006. We are seeking the university’s sponsorship so Mr. Ysa can attend.

  • On September 30, Dara Vanthan received a group from DanChurchAid at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. They wished to know the tribunal’s status and its developments.





Our public education and reconciliation outreach work consists of five activities: 1) efforts to educate professionals and the general public concerning the law applicable to the planned Khmer Rouge tribunal, 2) efforts to ameliorate the widespread psychological trauma inflicted upon survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime, 3) public education on Khmer Rouge history and the Cambodian Genocide through the medium of an established curriculum in Cambodia’s schools, 4) public education on Khmer Rouge history and the Cambodian Genocide through the medium of cinematography, and 5) public education on Khmer Rouge history and the Cambodian Genocide through the medium of the Internet.


1) The Legal Training Project


We held our third legal training course this summer, sponsored by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and focusing on the defense counsel. This quarter, we hosted a number of local and international guest lecturers.


Course Dates


July 11-22, 2005

26 NGOs

18 from Youth, Minority, and human rights organizations.

8 from DC-Cam, Rutgers University (intern), and International University of Japan (intern)

August 15-26, 2005

26 Individuals/political groups

6 villagers from Kampong Cham, Kandal, Pursat, Prey Veng, and Kampot

4 journalists, including two from Cambodge Soir, one from the Women Media Center of Cambodia and a freelance journalist

10 lawyers from various law firms and organizations

5 legal assistants and intern lawyers

1 member of a political party (the interim President of the Sangkum Thmei Party)

September 19-30, 2005

31 Individuals

15 villagers from Kampong Cham, Kandal, Pursat, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, and Kampot

10 trainee lawyers

1 practicing lawyer

2 law students

1 NGO program coordinator

2 DC-Cam volunteers


Each two-week course dealt with different aspects of international criminal law and criminal defense relevant to the upcoming tribunal in Cambodia, and was accompanied by a two-volume set of course materials prepared by the legal training team. The courses included the following topics:


  • An introduction to the upcoming KRT

  • The rights of the defendant

  • The role of the defense counsel before the KRT

  • Potential challenges for defense counsel before the KRT

  • Rights and duties of defense counsel before the KRT

  • Types of defense

  • Defense motions and closing arguments.


Various methods of instruction were employed, including lectures, workshops, and question and answer sessions. There were 27 participants in attendance at the first training session, held between July 11 and July 22, including representatives from the Cambodian Human Rights Task Force, the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Human Rights Association, the Center for Social Development, and the Khmer Institute of Democracy. At the second training session from August 15 to 26, 26 participants were in attendance, including reporters, journalists, attorneys, law students and lawyers-in-training, and representatives of the Cambodian Bar Association. The third session, held from September 19 to 30, had 31 participants in attendance. They included villagers from several provinces and legal interns from the Lawyer Training Center.


The courses were taught, coordinated, or assisted by the following team:




Position on Legal Training Team

Helyn Unac

Criminal Resource Defense Center, Kosovo

International Coordinator

Dara Vanthan


DC-Cam Coordinator

Alexander Bates

UK Barrister; former international prosecutor, Kosovo mixed tribunal

Guest Lecturer

Judge Nancy Gertner

Massachusetts (USA) District Court

Guest Lecturer

Prof. George Harris

University of the Pacific, McGeorge Law School, CA, USA

Guest Lecturer

Prof. Alexander Knoops

Utrecht University, Netherlands, Defense Counsel, Sierra Leone/ICTY

Guest Lecturer

Wayne Jordash

UK barrister, defense counsel, Sierra Leone/ICTY

Guest Lecturer

Abbe Smith

US defense counsel

Guest Lecturer

Francois Roux

French defense counsel, lead counsel before the ICTR and expert with ICC

Guest Lecturer

Bun Honn

Cambodian defense counsel

Guest Lecturer

Huot Vuthy

Deputy Prosecutor of Kandal Provincial Court

Guest Lecturer

Karen Yookyung Choi

University of Toronto

Summer Legal Associate

Devon Chaffee

Georgetown University

Summer Legal Associate

Janet Lee

Rutgers University

Summer Legal Associate

Gabriel Kuris

Harvard University

Summer Legal Associate

Kevin Osborne

Santa Clara University

Summer Legal Associate

Krissa Lanham

Yale University

Summer Legal Associate

Sophary Noy



Vireak Sarin



Sochea Phan



Terith Chy




Below are some quotes from the training evaluation.


“The training session organized by the legal training DC-Cam staff is good. I like it very much. It’s easy to understand about the training course. The guest lecturers’ lectures were also very good and interesting.”


“I think that this training is good because students and villagers were given a chance to attend the legal course. So that villagers can bring this knowledge to their home villagers and share with their communities.”


During this quarter, the lecturers from our 2004 legal training course produced an introductory book on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the table of contents of which appears below.


Table of Contents


Foreword & Acknowledgements

About the Authors

Glossary of Acronyms & Khmer Terms


By John D. Ciorciari

Chapter 1—The Shaping of the Tribunal

By Kelly Whitley

Chapter 2—The Crimes to Be Charged

By Aubrey Ardema

Chapter 3—Mechanics of the Tribunal

By Katrina Anderson

Chapter 4—Proving Khmer Rouge Abuses

By Julia Fromholz

Chapter 5—The Goals of The Tribunal

By Steven Liang


By John D. Cioriciari

Key Documents & References

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Law

The UN-RGC Agreement

The 1993 Cambodian Constitution

Relevant Secondary Sources


 2)        The Victims of Torture Project


We began this two-year project in late 2003 with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO). Through this project, we provided counseling for people who suffered abuse under the DK regime, whether victims or perpetrators, and who remain traumatized today. Our primary role was to assist the TPO in identifying subjects for care. During the current quarter the project’s covered the provinces of Takeo, Kampot, and Kandal.



3rd Quarter 2005

To Date

Interviews/PTSD victims identified



Transcript pages



Khmer/English data entry*



Group/individual therapy**



Psychiatric treatment**




 *In this quarter, we did not find time for data entry.

**The number is constant because we worked with the same people.


In this quarter, DC-Cam’s VOT team compiled or translated relevant reports, files, interviews, and photos, as well as profiles of VOT teams.


On August 18, 2005 researcher Tara Urs recorded a quote from her recent interview in Kampot. “It doesn’t matter whether I am a witness or not. The Documentation Center of Cambodia came to my village and interviewed me before, and they recorded the interview in writing and on a tape, so I feel that I have already been a witness.”---Commune Council Gender Representative, Taken Koh Sla commune.


We also received visits and correspondence from a number of persons and organizations overseas expressing an interest in the VOT Project.


The VOT Project has also led to efforts at reconciliation between former Khmer Rouge cadres and their victims. From September 23-25, 2005, 50 former perpetrators and victims from Phnom Penh, Kandal, Takeo and Kampot provinces joined voluntarily in a program called “Our Journey to Search for the Truth and Reconciliation,” whose purpose was to 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.


As a result of these activities, we received several requests. Immediately after visiting the center and showing the films in Takeo province, two participants requested a Khmer-translation of David Chandler’s Voices from S-21. A former security center prisoner asked for two films, which he hopes to show in his community during this year’s Pchum Benn ceremony (his village of Traing Ta Chan contains a KR security center and genocide site). On October 3, one of the participants reported that he had shown the films at a restaurant in his community and that villagers had asked for copies so they could view the films at home.


In January 2006, an evaluation team consisting of an anthropologist, sociologist, economist, and business expert will make a ten-day visit to DC-Cam and evaluate the project. 


3)         Genocide Education


This quarter, our team continued its progress on the school textbook project, which 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 worked on three main activities.


Analysis of Knowledge and Attitudes Survey. This quarter, we finished analyzing the results of a survey of 139 students, who were queried on their knowledge and attitudes toward Khmer Rouge regime. From the survey answers, it was obvious that the vast majority (95%) of respondents knew little about the regime, but after their tour of Tuol Sleng museum, a large majority expressed a desire to learn more about the regime.


Text/Training. 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. With visits by historian David Chandler, the text is now in and advanced stage (its seventh draft). The text is also being reviewed by Professor Frank Chalk (Concordia University), Sonia Zylberberg (director of education at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and an educator from the US Memorial Holocaust Museum), and author Khamboly Dy who is auditing Fall term courses on genocide education at Concordia University, Canada.


Survivors’ Stories. We have reviewed sources at DC-Cam and have selected 7 stories of victims, perpetrators, as well as accompanying songs, slogans, and other DK policy statements. They will be combined with the text to form a short book that will be edited, formatted, and laid out with photos and other images next quarter. We hope to see the book published by early 2006. After publication, we would seek permission to meet schoolteachers to present the book and seek their feedback.


4) Film Project


The 30-minute documentary The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields: The Story of Rape Survivor Tang Kim has earned US $1,278.30 to date; the monies are being used to support the education of Taing Kim’s children. It is planned that the film will be shown in over 50 village forums in Cambodia as part of our pre-trial outreach program.


Makiko Matsumto of the Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center was given permission to translate the script into Japanese for a women’s human rights film festival in November 2005. In addition, our legal intern Katrina Anderson wrote a journal article based on it (“Turning Reconciliation on its Head: Responding to Sexual Violations Under Khmer Rouge,” Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Spring/Summer 2005.)


5) Web Site Development (


This quarter we continued to update the website with items concerning the tribunal process. One was Khmer Rouge chronology. Work is continuing on our Khmer language website, and our current plans are to have it online by early next year. In 2006 we also plan to post our Documentation Series monographs in PDF files.

On August 19, the Open Forum of Cambodia invited DC-Cam to join a conference on launching their web portal which provides an updated on the tribunal in Khmer. Vannak Huy attended the conference.


Daniel Ries da Siva, a student at the Federal University of Rio De Janeiro, wrote to us after visiting DC-Cam’s website: “I would like to congratulate all members of DC-Cam staff for your work on that noble purpose. I’m a student of history in Brazil, and I’m doing a research about the April 17th in Cambodia. I would like to thank you for the material you display by this website; it was very useful for doing my research. Also I would like to ask your permission to use and translate to Portuguese some of the memories for the witnesses of the evacuation day in Cambodia.”


Our website is one of the main links to that of Loung Ung, who is an activist, author, and lecturer (


Public Education and Reconciliation Outreach Project Impacts


Both the silence and the psychological isolation that characterized life under the Khmer Rouge regime have yet to completely dissipate in Cambodia. A guiding principle of DC-Cam’s work since its inception has been that silence is the enemy of the truth. Through its public education and reconciliation outreach activities, DC-Cam is making a significant contribution toward ending the decades-long taboo against public discussion and debate concerning some of the most important events of Cambodia’s modern history and of the personal histories of the survivors of the Cambodian Genocide. Since we view a judicial reckoning for the crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge regime to be a critical means for ending this taboo, much of our recent activities in this area have focused on a relatively narrow group of Cambodian professionals. However, our broad range of public education and reconciliation outreach activities are continuing to encourage widespread participation in the process of bringing both national and individual closure to the devastation wrought by the Khmer Rouge regime. These impacts are reflected in the press coverage cited below.


This quarter, at least 100 news items on Khmer Rouge issues appeared in local and international publications. These include general histories or discourses on the Khmer Rouge. Of these, 38 are either quotes of DC-Cam staff or its director, reference to DC-Cam works, and features stories/letters/articles by DC-Cam staff. Some examples from these publications include:


  • Steve Kirsch, “Justice Delayed,” Foreign Affairs, July 2, 2005

  • Sim Chi Yin, “Who Do I Forgive?” THE NEW PAPER, July 16, 2005

  • Ea Meng-Try, “Compensation Project Could Have Variety of Consequences,” Cambodia Daily, August 4, 2005

  • Lee Berthiaum and Kuch Naren, “Trainees to Spread Word about KR Tribunal,” Cambodia Daily, August 8, 2005

  • Youk Chhang, “Money Cannot Replace True KR Justice,” Cambodia Daily, August 9, 2005

  • Radio Free Asia, “Interview With Chhang Youk on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal,” August 22, 2005

  • The Irrawady, “Cambodia Welcomes UN Appointment of Khmer Rouge Trial Chief,” August 27, 2005

  • Chheang Bopha, “La jeune generation se comfronte aux recits des survivants,” Cambodge Soir, August 27, 2005

  • Elizabeth Becker, “Minor Characters,” New York Times, August 28, 2005

  • Kyodo, “Hun Sen Welcomes Chinese Coordinator for Khmer Rouge Trial,” August 29, 2005

  • Srey Penh, “U.S. Gives 2 Million to Help Documentation Center of Cambodia,” The Voice of Khmer Youth, September 3, 2005

  • Phalla Prum, “Discussing KR Eases Minds, Lends Clarity,” Cambodia Daily, September 15, 2005

  • Sokhet Ros, “Nation Should Forget Past, Focus on Future,” Cambodia Daily, September 16, 2005

  • Kok-Thay Eng, “Living KR Offenders Are Unchanged, in Denial,” Cambodia Daily, September 19, 2005

  • Meng-Try Ea, “Country Must Cope with KR to Break Free,” Cambodia Daily, September 19, 2005

  • Ronnie Yim Sut, “Past, Present, and Future are Entwined,” Cambodia Daily, September 22, 2005

  • Kong Sothanarith, “A 78 ans, Keo Vorng reapprend Le mot ‘justice’. “ Cambodge Soir, September 28, 2005.


Further examples of impacts our public education and outreach work include:


  • On August 17, DC-Cam director Youk Chhang commented on an August 12 press release by the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC). Concerning the issue of judicial selection for the Khmer Rouge tribunal, CHRAC demanded transparency, integrity and competence of prospective Cambodian judges, and that they should speak French or English. Mr. Chhang said that the press release should then also demand the same from the UN on the first point, and as to the second point, in all fairness, should demand that appointed UN officials also speak Khmer.

  • In a discussion on peace and justice development , Ms. Chhang provided advice to Prom Nga, country coordinator of HEKS (Swiss Interchurch Aid) on peace and reconciliation network training. 

  • On August 3, 2005, Mr. Chhang met with a delegation of NGOs and provided advice on setting up offices in Cambodia. The delegation included representatives from Comite des Victimes des Khmers Rouges, Association Justice Pour Le Cambodge, Centre for Applied Research on International and European Criminal Justice, Asie-Aide a la Jeunesse, Les Enfants du Sourire Khmer, Asie Extreme, and Connecte. 





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 who conduct extensive research at DC-Cam. Our main products are the short monographs in our Documentation Series.


This quarter, Director Youk Chhang and DC-Cam Legal Advisor John Ciorciari wrote a chapter in the recently published collection, Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice: Prosecuting Mass Violence before the Cambodian Courts, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2005. It examines the search for Khmer Rouge accountability from historical, Buddhist, and legal perspectives, and was edited by DC-Cam legal aAdvisors Beth Van Schaack and Jaya Ramji. The chapter is entitled “Documenting the Crimes of Democratic Kampuchea.”


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. This quarter, he made six research visits to Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kandal, Battambang, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kompong Cham, Kratie, and Stung Treng provinces. He is also conducting archival work at DC-Cam, the National Archives of Cambodia and the Buddhist Institute as well as field interviews. Dr. Harris also interviewed ethnic Khmer Krom monks in Phnom Penh and Southern Vietnam. To date, he has conducted over 60 interviews with key informants. Next quarter, Dr. Harris plans to conduct additional interviews in Phnom Penh and Kampong Thom as well as visiting archives and libraries in France. The project will result in a published manuscript in our Documentation Series.


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. Ciorciari wrote with members of our legal training course staff. We anticipate that it will be published before the end of 2005.


Last, Dr. Stephen Heder continued his interview analyses work (see Section 1.2) at DC-Cam during the current quarter. We anticipate that DC-Cam will publish his work as a monograph in 2006.


2) Translation and Publication of Foreign Books


When the War was Over, by Elizabeth Becker, translated by Tep Meng Khean and Irene Sokha, is at the printing house.


Journey to Light, by Ronnie Yimsuth, translated by Kok-Thay Eng, will be published next quarter.


We are seeking for funds to publish completed translation of:


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

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


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 decided to increase and diversify our announcements and expand our target writers to include children of the survivors and teachers/government officials.


Research, Translation and Publication Project Impacts


One of the outstanding characteristics of scholarship on the Cambodian Genocide has been the degree to which it has been a product of non-Cambodian researchers and authors who have disseminated their work in foreign languages. As a result, a very large majority of this research has been inaccessible to the vast majority of Cambodians. This disturbing fact has resulted in a vacuum of knowledge among many Cambodians regarding some the most important events of their recent history. DC-Cam’s research, translation and publication projects are making a significant contribution towards giving Cambodians back their history, by making more widely available to Cambodians some of the most important foreign language works on the Cambodian Genocide and related subjects, and by encouraging the production of professional-level scholarship on the Cambodian Genocide by Cambodian writers and researchers.


In addition to the work products listed above, we have been helping several university students from Cambodia and abroad in their research. Some examples follow:


  • On August 17, 2005, the “Andy Brouwer web page” for new Cambodia related books updated its site to include DC-Cam’s The Chain of Terror, at


  • On August 18, 2005, Dr. Henrik Mann wrote to thank DC-Cam for its assistance in his thesis, which is to be published by the University of San Francisco. It is entitled, “NGO Narratives of Human Rights and Rehabilitation in Cambodia: A Transnational Advocacy and Policy Framework for Appropriating Identity Amidst a Quest for Transitional Justice.”


  • Following researcher Chhon Reasey’s request of June 27, 2005, we provided documents related to Khmer Rouge trial.


  • Naw Mu Si, a Burmese activist and student in the USA, benefited from her one-month internship at DC-Cam, where she studied about the Khmer Rouge dictatorship in an effort to better understand the current Burmese situation.


  • Following a July 27, 2005 request from Piotr Szafraniec, a student of international relations and Sinology at Warsaw University, we provided a copy of DC-Cam’s paper, Democratic Kampuchea’s Human Rights Violations Against the Chinese: 1975-1979, by Chan Sambath.


  • In late July 2005 Nathalie Duveiller, a political science student from Belgium, did research at DC-Cam on democratic transition and development, and the potential impacts of the planned KR Tribunal on democracy in Cambodia.


  • On August 14, 2005, we assisted in connecting three researchers (Kaing Visal, Amelia Hight, and Erik Davis), all of whom were assisted in their research efforts concerning memorial issues by DC-Cam.


  • On August 5, 2005, we received a request from Tim Deeds (whose brother Michael Scott Deeds is believed to have been executed at Tuol Sleng Prison in late 1978) for a digital scan of his brother’s photo from Tuol Sleng prison. We have located the photo, which is held by a private party, and requested that he forward it to Mr. Deeds.





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 9 announcements on missing relatives. Our editorials discussed three on-going projects – Victims of Torture, PIR, and Living Documents – to help disseminate information about the Khmer Rouge, to help people understand the courtroom process and to involve them in the tribunal process. We informed the public about the new endowment we received from the US Government as well as our request to have land on which to build a permanent center. In addition, we published another quarterly English Edition of the magazine containing ten requests for assistance in locating missing family members received during the third quarter.

Readers sent in 6 letters this quarter expressing appreciation or requesting copies of our magazine.


LICADHO, PADEK, TPO and PED continued to help us distribute our magazine. We sold 76 copies of the Khmer edition and 46 of the English edition, and distributed 20,678 copies of the Khmer edition and 201 of the English edition free of charge.


2)         Radio Broadcasts


This quarter, we continued reading articles from Searching for the Truth, Introduction to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and Stilled Lives on the radio station. In August, we expanded our broadcasts to 11 stations and aired the “Introduction to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.” Our special broadcast for August is shown below:





Kampong Cham (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 6:30-6:45 am

Siem Reap (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 9:00-9:15 am

Svay Reing (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 8:30-8:45 am

Sihanoukville (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 11:00-11:15 am

Pursat (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 11:00-11:15 am

Kampot (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 7:00-7:30 pm

Preah Vihear (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 6:30-7:00 pm

Women’s Media Center (Local, FM)


Wednesday and Thursdays,

7:30-7:45 pm

National Radio (Nationwide, FM)


Daily, 6:15-6:30 am

Battambang (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 9:00-9:30 am

Banteay Meanchey (Provincial, FM)


Daily, 11:05-noon


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

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

Introduction to KR trial

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



Magazine and Radio Project Impacts


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 truth of 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.


One example of the public reaction to DC-Cam’s radio project is a letter a local taxi driver wrote to a Battambang radio station director. This listener described how previously, he no longer thought about the Khmer Rouge regime no wished to recall his experiences under it. However, after becoming an avid listener to the DC-Cam broadcasts, he changed his mind. This man wrote that the majority of his passengers had feelings similar to his own, but had also become regular listeners. Communications between DC-Cam staff and radio station operators throughout Cambodia have confirmed that our broadcasts have garnered a great deal of attention, particularly our recent piece, “An Introduction to the Khmer Rouge Trial Law.”


The impact of our magazine project on bridging the “generation gap” in knowledge about the Khmer Rouge era is exemplified by the following quote from an August 18, 2005 interview by DC-Cam researcher Tara Urs with a Deputy District Chief in Kampot Province: “I do talk to them [my children] about it [the Pol Pot time]. At first they seemed not to believe me, but then they learned from the Searching for the Truth magazine and now they believe me. There is evidence in the magazine. Especially also, from the graves. There are many graves nearby.”


On August 1, Dara Vanthan met with Kate Caitlinreijer from ICTJ. They discussed the outreach program, focusing on radio. During the discussion, she expressed her desire to cooperate with DC-Cam in terms of articles that we prepare and broadcast on private radio stations.





Staff member Eng Kok-Thay was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and started
to work on a Masters degree at Rutgers University, USA during the Fall 2005 term.

Staff members Kalyan Sann and Pivoine Beang were awarded fellowships to the Electronic Research and Publishing Programme for journalists in Stockholm, Sweden. They will attend the program from October 3-23, 2005.

Staff member Khamboly Dy is auditing Fall term courses on genocide education at Concordia University, Canada.


In September, staff members Ly Sok Kheang and Prum Phalla began their studies for Masters of Arts degrees in Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University, UK.

Staff members Osman Ysa and Sophary Noy will join Sida’s International Training Programme 2006, studying Human Rights and Disability (May) and Project Management (April), respectively.


Prepared by

Sorya Sim with assistance from Raymund Johansen