APPEALS FOR THE RELEASE OF ARCHIVES
KHMER ROUGE TRIBUNAL
the thirtieth anniversary of the Khmer Rouge’s rise to power, the
Cambodian people are still awaiting justice. The Documentation
Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) asks that governments, organizations,
and individuals help our country attain justice by providing
materials they possess on the regime to the Extraordinary
Chambers, which will be set up to try former Khmer Rouge leaders.
These materials include documents, testimony, and other materials
(such as photographs and audio recordings) from the period April
17, 1975-January 6, 1979. In addition, we are seeking the return
of important film footage taken during the Khmer Rouge regime.
This body of information would make a valuable contribution
to truth and justice for Cambodians by vastly enlarging the
tribunal’s knowledge base.
governments had embassies in
during Democratic Kampuchea, while others followed events from
embassies in Thailand, China, Vietnam or Laos. We hope that all
these governments will search their diplomatic, military and
intelligence (including signals intelligence) archives for
materials that might be useful in establishing a full legal and
historical accounting of the crimes committed during this period.
We hope they will declassify these materials when necessary,
transmit them to the Extraordinary Chambers, and make them public.
hope that journalists, scholars and other individuals who may be
holding relevant materials will make them easily accessible to the
court and the Cambodian public. DC-Cam would like to thank Dr.
Steve Heder of the University of London and former Officer in
Charge of the Cambodia Office of the United Nations Centre for
Human Rights David Hawk for providing us with their Khmer
Rouge-related files in anticipation of the tribunal. We hope
others will follow their lead.
recognizes that people will have legitimate concerns about
protecting the confidentiality of certain sources. But we believe
that viable solutions can always be found to such problems.
of the essence. Governments in particular should begin to gather
and declassify relevant documents now so they will be ready when
the tribunal is established. By doing so, those holding valuable
materials can do their part to ensure that the Khmer Rouge
tribunal is a fair and thorough legal process.
Youk Chhang, Director
Documentation Center of Cambodia