Monograph 1  

The Testimony of Young Khmer Rouge Cadres


Meng-Try Ea and Sorya Sim




76 pages in English, 150 pages in Khmer

A note on the Front Cover Photo






In Democratic Kampuchea’s Region 31, the Khmer Rouge recruited children to serve as guards, “catchers,” and animal husbandry workers in Tuol Sleng Prison (S-21). This monograph explores how these and other Cambodian youth were forced to become Khmer Rouge cadres, how they were indoctrinated in the ideology of Democratic Kampuchea, how they were affected, and the violation of their rights.

The authors used Khmer Rouge biographies and interviews with 73 people to collect information on these youths. Eighteen of those interviewed were Khmer Rouge cadres at S-21, 22 are family members of deceased S-21 cadres, and 33 are survivors of the regime. The authors conclude that these children were victims as well as perpetrators.

Funding provided by the Human Rights Project Funds of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom through the British Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and the Government of Norway.




Monograph 2  

Justice for the Cham Muslims under Democratic
Kampuchea Regime


Ysa Osman




154 pages in English, 205 pages in Khmer






This monograph explores the genocide of the Cham ethnic group, making a case that the Cham, who are Muslims, were killed a rate that was nearly double to triple that of the general Cambodian population during the Democratic Kampuchea regime. It provides evidence showing that the Cham comprised 10% of Cambodia’s population prior to 1975 (about 700,000 people), but numbered only 200,000 after the regime fell in 1979.


The author presents case studies of 13 Cham prisoners at S-21 (7 Khmer Rouge soldiers, 2 Lon Nol government officials, a student, a fisherman, a peasant, and an interrogator at S-21), all of whom were executed at the prison.


Funding provided by the Human Rights Project Funds of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom through the British Embassy, Phnom Penh.




Monograph 3


From Victory to Self-destruction


Huy Vannak




203 pages in English, 250 pages in Khmer







One of the most favored of the Khmer Rouge’s nine military divisions, Division 703 was composed of 5,000 to 6,000 peasants, primarily from Kandal province. At the end of 1975, its soldiers with “clean” backgrounds were given positions at Tuol Sleng (the central-level prison also known as S-21) or its branch office S-21D (Prey Sar prison) and various government offices. At least 567 of these men were later branded as “enemies” of the regime and executed at S-21.


This monograph examines the careers of 40 soldiers who worked in Division 703. Most of those who survived the 1979 defeat of the Khmer Rouge returned to their villages in the early 1980s, often after spending time in prison as a result of their involvement with the regime.


Funding provided by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.





Monograph 4  


Accountability for the Crimes of the Khmer Rouge


Stephen Heder and Brian Tittemore




153 pages in English (executive summary in Khmer)

247 pages in Japanese Language





This study examines the responsibility of seven senior officials for their roles in developing and implementing the murderous policies of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK), known to its enemies as the “Khmer Rouge”:



Deputy Secretary of the CPK Central Committee Nuon Chea, who is implicated in devising and implementing the Party’s execution policies.


Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs and Central and Standing Committee member Ieng Sary, who repeatedly and publicly encouraged and facilitated arrests and executions within his ministry and throughout Cambodia.


Democratic Kampuchea State Presidium Chairman Khieu Samphan, who encouraged lower-level CPK officials to perpetrate executions and, at least in some instances, monitored and contributed to the implementation of Party policies by regional authorities.


 Zone Secretaries and Central Committee members Ta Mok and Kae Pok, who directed or otherwise facilitated their subordinates’ arrests of suspected traitors in their zones, and failed to prevent or punish atrocities perpetrated by their subordinates.



CPK Military Division Chairmen Sou Met and Meah Mut, who played direct roles in the arrest and transfer of cadre from their divisions for interrogation and execution, and failed to prevent or punish atrocities perpetrated by their subordinates.

While extensive work has been done to document and analyze evidence of CPK crimes generally, this is the first comprehensive legal analysis of available evidence against specific individuals for international crimes. Heder and Tittemore also shed new light on how the CPK designed and implemented the CPK’s policies of mass execution.


Funding provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the OSI Development Foundation (a Swiss charitable foundation).




Monograph 5  



Suzannah Linton




274 pages in English (executive summary in Khmer)








For the first time, Cambodia’s struggle to deal with its tragic past is put into global context through an examination of the growing of literature in this area, and comparisons with the experiences of such countries as Chile, Argentina, Rwanda, South Africa, and East Timor. The heart of this study is analysis of the extensive data collected by DC-Cam’s magazine, Searching for the Truth, in the course of a public survey of its Cambodian readers in 2002. The author provides insight into the attitudes and perceptions of ordinary Cambodians on a range of issues relating to the Khmer Rouge: accountability, revenge, forgiveness, reconciliation, and their vision for the future.


Funding provided by the OSI Development Foundation, the United Kingdom, US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Sida (Sweden).





Monograph 6  






 Photographs of the Cambodian Genocide


 Wynne Cougill with Pivoine Pang, Chhayran Ra, and
 Sopheak Sim




127 pages in English, 118 photographs

This book contains photographs and essays on the lives of 51 men and women, who joined the Khmer Rouge during the 1960s and 1970s. They were what the Khmer Rouge called “base people”: those from the peasant class who generally were treated less harshly than the “new people” (city dwellers and those associated with the former Lon Nol regime). The people profiled here served the Khmer Rouge as farmers, soldiers, security personnel, or cadres (those with some degree of command responsibility). Although most Cambodians view the former Khmer Rouge as cruel and sometimes evil, this book shows that they and their families faced the same struggles and hardships as their victims, and points to our common humanity.


Funding provided by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).





Monograph 7  


The Khmer Rouge Southwest Zone Security System


Meng-Try Ea




150 pages in English







The Khmer Rouge security (prison) system was set up at virtually every political level throughout Democratic Kampuchea. This monograph examines the structure of the security  system in the regime’s Southwest Zone, which was considered a model for the revolution, but contained over 250 security centers (DC-Cam has located over 6,000 mass grave sites in this zone). It examines the execution chain at the sub-district, district, region, and zone levels, and the relationships of the centers within the zone.


Funding provided by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through The Asia Foundation.




Monograph 8  


A Translation and Analysis of a Cambodian Literary Classic


George Chigas




252 pages in English





Tum Teav is the tragic love story of a talented novice monk named Tum and a beautiful adolescent girl named Teav. Well known throughout Cambodia since at least the middle of the 19th century, the story has been told in oral, historical, literary,  theatre, and film versions. This monograph contains the author’s translation of the Venerable Botumthera Som’s version. It also examines the controversy over the poem’s authorship and its interpretation by literary scholars and performers in terms of Buddhism and traditional codes of conduct, abuse of power, and notions of justice.


Funding provided by NZAID (New Zealand).




Monograph 9  


Survivors' Stories from the Villages


Ysa Osman




184 pages in English







In October 1975, two Cham Muslim villages in Kampong Cham province staged brief and ill-fated rebellions against their oppressors, who had banned the practice of Islam. Armed with swords, knives, sticks, stones and two guns, they killed a member of the subdistrict committee and the  chief of the district youth group. After the rebellions were put down, the survivors were deported to malarial areas, imprisoned, or executed. Only about 10 percent of these villages 8,000 people survived the regime.


Funding provided by NZAID (New Zealand).




Monograph 10  



John D. Ciorciari




204 pages in English










Between April 1975 and January 1979, the radical Khmer Rouge regime subjected Cambodians to a wave of atrocities that left over one in four Cambodians dead. For nearly three decades, call for justice went unanswered, and the architects of Khmer Rouge terror enjoyed almost unfettered impunity. Only recently has a tribunal been established to put surviving Khmer Rouge officials on trial. This edited volume examines the origins, evolution, and feature of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. It provides a concise overview of legal and political issues surrounding the tribunal and answers key questions about the accountability process. It explains why the tribunal took so many years to create and why it became a "hybrid" court with Cambodians and international participation. It also assesses the laws and procedures governing the proceedings and the likely evidence available against Khmer Rouge defendants. Finally, it discusses how the tribunal can most effectively advance the aims of justice and reconciliation in Cambodia and help to dispel the shadows of the past. 


Funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 





Monograph 11




Stories from Cambodia’s New People under
Democratic Kampuchea

Pivoine Beang and Wynne Cougill


143 pages in English; 200 pages in Khmer

For centuries, Cambodia’s rural peasants had lived in modest circumstances with few entitlements, while the country’s tiny urban elite enjoyed more opportunities and privileges. But in April 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia, they reversed this social order.


Hundreds of thousands of city dwellers were evacuated to the countryside, where they were forced into hard labor. Despised by the peasants and Khmer Rouge cadres alike, these “new people” were viewed as parasites and imperialists, and their rights and privileges were removed. As many as two-thirds of them were executed or died as a result of starvation, untreated diseases, or overwork.


In this monograph, 52 new people who survived Democratic Kampuchea tell their stories and those of their loved ones under the Khmer Rouge. 


Funding provided by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) with core support from  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).





Monograph 12  



Sara Colm and Sorya Sim


174 pages in English









The Khmer Rouge took effective control of Mondul Kiri province in 1970, five years before the fall of Phnom Penh and most of the rest of Cambodia. Mondul Kiri served as an early base area for the Khmer Rouge, along with the other provinces of the Democratic Kampuchea’s Northeast Zone (Ratanak Kiri, Stung Treng and Kratie). The isolated forests of the northeast were home to indigenous highlanders who were alienated from the central government in Phnom Penh, providing fertile ground for the Khmer Rouge to build a base of popular support in the late 1960s. That relationship soured after the Khmer Rouge imposed cooperatives and communal eating, forced communities to relocate from their traditional lands, terminated customary religious practices, and purged people accused of supporting Prince Sihanouk and the Vietnamese after the U.S. bombing ended in 1973.


This monograph examines Khmer Rouge purges in Mondul Kiri, or Khmer Rouge Region 105, from 1970 when the Khmer Rouge took effective control of the province until 1979 when they were ousted from power. It focuses on executions of ethnic Bunong people, who comprised the bulk of Mondul Kiri’s population during that period, as well as ethnic Khmer cadre, soldiers, and workers living in the province. It also looks at a number of cases where indigenous highlanders crossed the border from Vietnam and were singled out and killed by the Khmer Rouge. These included Bunong civilians, whose ancestral territory straddles the border, who were working as simple farmers or laborers in the cooperatives. They were arrested on charges of being Vietnamese spies based on circumstantial evidence: they had traveled back and forth to Vietnam to escape the U.S. air war or to visit relatives. The Khmer Rouge also arrested at members of the highland resistance army FULRO, after they crossed the border from Vietnam to Mondul Kiri in 1978 to ask for help from the Khmer Rouge in fighting their common enemy, Vietnam.





Monograph 13


Ian Harris




304 pages in English










This new book by Ian Harris, Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Cumbria, UK, explores the fate of Buddhism before, during, and shortly after Democratic Kampuchea. Prum Phalla of the Documentation Center of Cambodia provided research assistance on this project.


Dr. Harris begins with an examination of Buddhism under Sihanouk and Lon Nol, and then traces the origins of Khmer Communism and its relationship with Buddhism in Cambodia. He then looks at the fate of Buddhism early in the regime, including monk evacuations and flights abroad, defrocking, forced marriage, military service, and executions. The practice of Buddhism during the regime is also examined, including Buddhist rites and the fate of pagodas, images, and religious texts. Dr. Harris weighs the claims of monk deaths and pagodas destroyed during Democratic Kampuchea against his findings from extensive interviews and documentary research. He concludes that there was no policy for the systematic liquidation of monks in Democratic Kampuchea.


Ian Harris and Prum Phalla:

Ian Harris is Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Cumbria, UK and Tung Lin Kok Yuen, Visiting Professor on Buddhism and Contemporary Society at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Co-founder of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies (UKABS) and author of many works on Buddhist ethics and politics, his previous book was Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice (2005). He is currently investigating the links between Buddhism and politics in pre-Pol Pot Cambodia.


Funding for this project was generously provided by the Swedish International Development Agency. Support for DC-Cam’s operations is provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).





Monograph 14  



The Khmer Rouge Accountability Process

Edited by John D. Ciorciari and  and Anne Heindel
Foreword by Youk Chhang




352 pages in English








This book is dedicated to the victims of Democratic Kampuchea and to  promoting a legal accountability process that will honor their memories and provide their families with justice.








John Ciorciari is an Assistant Professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and a Senior Legal Advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia.








Anne Heindel is a Legal Advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia.








Youk Chhang is Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia. He is a survivor of the Killing Fields and received the Truman-Reagan Freedom Award from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in 2000. He was also named one of Time magazine’s “60 Asian Heroes” in 2006 and one of the “Time 100” most influential people in the world in 2007 for his stand against impunity in Cambodia and elsewhere.








“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is profoundly important to Cambodians and non-Cambodians around the world. It excites passion, arouses controversy, and offers to many victims the hope of justice too long delayed. This timely and essential book provides an excellent overview of the Tribunal, a thoughtful review of its progress to date, and sensible suggestions on how it can best meet its obligations to the Cambodian people and the international community.”
–Dr. Sophal Ear, Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and survivor of Democratic Kampuchea








This book of essays On Trial: the Khmer Rouge Accountability Process is well-timed, as the first ECCC trial of ‘Duch’ the former chairman of the notorious S-21 draws to a close. On Trial will take an important place among the many books and articles written about the recent history of Cambodia and particularly the Khmer Rouge period. It provides a useful historical and intellectual context for the trials currently underway in Phnom Penh before the ECCC. For observers and academics its most useful sections may prove to be those that analyse the law, jurisprudence and procedures governing the trials and the many issues that this unique Tribunal has overcome and has yet to resolve. The essays also pose many insightful questions and offer some tentative proposals for improvement in procedure and victim participation.








DC-Cam has again assisted in the vital task of providing the public with information that helps unravel the tragic puzzle of how to deal with the aftermath of Democratic Kampuchean policies and practices in Cambodia.
–Judge Silvia Cartwright, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)








This invaluable collection of essays, sponsored by the Cambodian NGO that has pioneered research on the Khmer Rouge era, provides a wealth of information about the so-called Khmer Rouge Tribunal. On Trial is accessible, well researched, and passionately engaged with the innumerable tragedies of the Khmer Rouge period. Its authors argue that the ongoing trials may possibly lead toward deeper reconciliation and certainly a deeper knowledge of what happened throughout the country in those horrific years.


–David Chandler. Professor Emeritus of history at Monash University, Dr. Chandler is a renowned historian of Cambodia, whose published works include The Tragedy of Cambodian History: Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945, Brother Number One: A Political Biography of Pol Pot, and Voices from S-2: Terror and History in Pol Pot’s Secret Prison.








Funded and Supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Sweden and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USA.





Monograph 15  



 Justice for the Future, Not Just for the Victims


Huy Vannak




80 pages in English






Nearly 30 years after the fall of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, a survivor of its ruthless torture machine emerges from history to announce: “I am still alive.” The Khmer Rouge imprisoned and tortured 14,000 Cambodians at its notorious Toul Sleng Prison, also known as “S-21.” Imprisonment at S-21 was a certain death sentence--only a handful of men walked out alive. Among them was Bou Meng, an artist. Years after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime, one of the most horrific in history (1975-1979), and three decades after S-21 was closed, Bou Meng was believed dead. In January 2002, an English local newspaper in Phnom Penh reported that he had died in 1997 or 1998, and in October 2002, a Cambodian magazine called Searching for the Truth ran a photo of S-21 survivors gathered at the former prison site, reporting that Bou Meng had “disappeared.”


But Bou Meng actually survived, an astonishing escape from execution made possible only because of his skill as a portrait artist. During his imprisonment at S-21, Bou Meng was forced to paint propaganda portraits of Pol Pot and other Communist leaders. Only because of his unique talent did the murderous leaders of S-21 keep him alive. But it could not save Bou Meng's wife, Ma Yoeun, or his two children. Ma Yoeun was tortured and died at the killing site, Choeung Ek. Bou Meng's children starved to death at a Khmer Rouge child center. 


Bou Meng’s story is the story of millions of Cambodians who endured relentless suffering, torture and imprisonment during a vicious and murderous regime. Today, Bou Meng’s story has also become the particular story of one man’s quest to use his memory as a tool in the search of truth and justice.


Funding for this project was generously provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).




Monograph 16  


Memories of Cham Muslim Women after the Khmer Rouge


Farina So




128 page in Englsih,  174 page in Khmer



This book examines Cham Muslim women’s experiences under the Khmer Rouge regime through the complexities of memory and narrative and uncovers compelling stories of survival and resistance. Khmer Rouge genocidal policies ruptured ethnic and religious identities and resulted in the disproportionate death of the Cham group.  Guided by their desire to preserve their families and their cultural identity, Cham women sometimes complied with Khmer Rouge policies, and sometimes secretly resisted. Their recollection of this era and lost family members contributes to the preservation of the Cham identity for future generations, as well as the collective memories of all Cambodians.




So Farina has worked at the Documentation Center of Cambodia since 2003 and is currently team leader of its Cham Oral History project, which records the Cham Muslim community’s memories of the Khmer Rouge era (1975-79). This research monograph, drawn from Ms. So’s master’s thesis, focuses on Cham Muslim women’s experiences under the Khmer Rouge.


Ms. So holds a BA in Accounting and Finance from National University of Management (Cambodia) and an MA in International Affairs with a concentration in Southeast Asian Studies from Ohio University (USA). She has participated in international programs related to genocide, oral history, Islam in Southeast Asia, memorialization, information and technology, and truth commissions in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Germany, Malaysia, South Korea, and the United States. Besides Khmer, her native language, she is fluent in English and familiar with Bahasa Indo- alay and Cham.


Hijab: Headscarves are scarves covering most or all of a woman’s hair and head. The Arabic word hijab, which refers to modest behavior or dress in general, is often used to describe the headscarf worn by Muslim women. Muslim women wear the hijab for religious reasons, including the desire to be judged for their morals, character, and ideals instead of their appearance.


Funding for this project was generously provided by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) with core support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).




Monograph 17  


Trauma Psychology in the Wake of the Khmer Rouge
An Edited Volume on Cambodia's Mental Health

Edited by:
Beth Van Schaack, Daryn Reicherter & Youk Chhang


Managing Editor: Autumn Talbot




232 page in nglish


The Khmer Rouge Standing Committee aimed to ensure compliance and eliminate dissent by oppressing the people through psychological dominance.  The defilement of Khmer religion, Khmer art, Khmer familiar relations, and the Khmer social class structure undermined deeply-held societal assumptions.  The Khmer Rouge also destabilized the mass psychology that was secure in those realities.  Cambodia's psychology was thus altered in damaging and enduring ways.  In societies that experience war and genocide, trauma significantly impacts the people's psychology.  The ripple effects of this damage are often incalculable.  There are well-established statistics demonstrating a higher prevalence of trauma-related mental health disorders in post-conflict societies. this book considers the mental health implications of the Khmer Rouge era among the Cambodia populace.  Specialists in trauma mental health discuss the increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression, among other major mental health disorders, in the country.  They also discusses the staggering burden of such a high prevalence of societal mental illness on a post-conflict society.  Legal experts discuss the way in which the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia can better accommodate victims and witnesses who are traumatized to avoid re-traumatization and to ensure a meaningful experience with justice.  The text also offers a set of recommendations for addressing the widespread mental  health issues within the society.


Phan Srey Leab Holds a Photo of Family Members Imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge regime (Front cover photo & caption by Eng Kok-Thay)


At nine years old, Phan Srey Leab is a quiet and docile girl with piercing eyes.  She is a granddaughter of Chan Kim Srun and Sek Sat.  As a member of the military, Sek Sat rose quickly through the ranks, first commanding the 18th Company of Region 33 and then the 12th Regiment in 1973.  By 1977, Sek Sat was a secretary of Koh Thom district and, by 1978, a secretary of Region 25.  


On May 13, 1978, the Khmer Rouge arrested Sek Sat, his wife, and their newborn baby boy.  They arrived at Tuol Sleng Prison (S-21) the next day.  Forty days later, Sek Sat wrote a sixty-seven-page confession, in which he admitted to traitorous activities dating back to 1965 when he joined the United States Central Intelligence Agency.  According to the confession, his main goals were to oppose the monarchy and communism, and to ”hide in the revolution to build force.”


Documents from Tuol Sleng prison do not indicate whether Chan Kim Srun wrote a confession before she died.  The only prison document directly concerning Chan Kim Srun is a short biography and a portrait, taken upon her arrival at S-21, of her carrying her sleeping baby.  Her brief biography, obtained by the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), indicates that she managed a handicrafts workshop in Region 25 where her husband was chief.  The portrait graces the cover of our book.  In the original photo, which is on display at Tuol Sleng Museum, it is possible to see tears dropping from Chan Kim Srun’s eyes. 


The two had three children together.  At the time of their parents’ arrest, Sek Say was eleven and her younger sister, Chreb, was only nine.  While the newborn son was imprisoned with Sek Sat and Chan Kim Srun, both of the girls and their aunt were jailed in a low-security prison in Koh Thom district.  Chreb & Sek Say escaped with the aid of the Vietnamese in late 1978, but Chreb died of disease before reaching safety.  Sek Say survived and moved to Kampong Speu where she remains today in Kong Pisey district.


Sek Say resembles her mother.  She has five children, of which Phan Srey Leab is the third.  Srey Leab likes to play in the kitchen when she can find a spot of her own.  After school, she helps her mother cook, do household chores, and look after her younger sisters.  Srey Leab only manages an average performance at school.  Srey Leab has heard her mother blame their poverty on being orphaned at a young age.  The young girl asked once about her grandparents and what had happened to them.  Srey Leab listened to their story, but—quiet as she is—she has never again talked about it.


Funding for this project was generously provided by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) with core support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).




Monograph 18  

 The triumph of an ordinary man in the Khmer Rouge


 CHUM MEY with Documentation Center of Cambodia

 "Translation by Sim Sorya and Kimsroy Sokvisal"

 Chum Mey's confession (with introduction by David

 Chandler and Youk Chhang)

 Cover photo by Mariko Takayasu




 108 pages in English

Chum Mey personifies the tormented history of his country, surviving gunfights and rocket attacks during a civil war, losing his wife and four children during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, and dragged blindfolded into Tuol Sleng prison, where more than 12,000 people were chained and tortured and sent to a killing field. Only a handful survived, and Chum Mey's story provides a rare glimpse inside the workings of a brutal and highly organized assembly line of death. At least 1.7 million people died between 1975 and 1979 when the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia.


It was his skill as a mechanic that saved him, when after 12 days and nights of beatings and repeated electrocution, he was plucked from among the other prisoners and put to work repairing the typewriters his torturers used to record their forced confessions.


Chum Mey himself confessed to a wild fantasy of counter-revolutionary work for the CIA, an organization whose name he had never heard before his torture began. He was ready to say anything in order to stop the pain. His confession is one of the few that have been translated into English and it is reproduced in this book, the first of thousands of Tuol Sleng confessions to be published.


Over the years Chum Mey has come to understand and even identify with his torturers, rather than to condemn them. "I consider them victims like me, because they had to follow other people's orders," he says in an introduction to the book. "How can I say I would have behaved differently? Would I have had the strength to refuse to kill, if the penalty was my own death?"


He escaped death, but his survival itself continues to bewilder him. "It was such a rare chance that I survived when so many people were killed there," he says. "I think about it every night, how lucky I was to survive. Why did I survive?"


Funding for this project was generously provided by Friends of the Documentation Center Cambodia with core support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).




Monograph 19  



Terith Chy




208 page in Englsih

This study of the trial of the Cambodian mass murderer Duch provides the first micro-level analysis of the personality of the defendant, victim interaction, trial structure alongside the wider history and culture of both Cambodia and war crimes trials. As such it provides a unique insight into the relationship between concepts of evil, the psychology of war criminals and the international (criminal) trial process that has lessons for both the restorative movement and the structure of war crimes and international trials. In particular, this resource book looks at the microsociological dynamics in which the individuals in the trial are both shaped by, and shape, the outcome and meaning of justice. It argues that Duch is more than just a cog in the machine in the sense that he, although following orders, personally and willingly perpetuated the consequences and enjoyed his absolute power. During his trial, Duch made efforts to co-operate, but sought acquittal at the end. For this, his efforts were seen as insincere. This research argues that his apology and remorse were genuine. It suggests that confrontation, disappointments, and conflicting defence strategies had collectively contributed to Duch's changing decision. His personality and frequent challenges by Duch and his lawyers were the cause of aggressive exchanges. Such confrontation and contestations made other parties – i.e. victims – believe he was in denial. Duch was accordingly doubly disappointed for failing himself and his victims. Besides, his co-counsels employed conflicting strategies. His international counsel presented Duch as a remorseful accused who largely admitted legal responsibility, while his national counsel presented him as a scapegoat. Through the trial, Duch was convinced that he had become a "scapegoat" and that it was unjust to prosecute him alone. Finally, this research concluded that Duch's contribution made his trial the most important achievement by the tribunal. Together with this analysis of the Duch and his trial, the book will contain a recent interview with Duch while in detention at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and many stories of his victims.


Funding for this project was generously provided by Norwegian Goverment and the Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID).




Monograph 20  



Khamboly Dy and Christopher Dearing

(Khmer Translation by Men Pechet)




176 page in English, 275 pages in Khmer

History invites moral judgments, and in studying the people of Anlong Veng, it is easy to slip into an accusatory mindset. Anlong Veng was the final stronghold of the notorious Khmer Rouge regime—a regime which was responsible for perpetrating genocide, mass atrocity, and incalculable harm on the fabric of Cambodian society. It is believed that over two million people died during the regime, and to this day the country still struggles with the byproducts of this history. Many of Anlong Veng's residents were former Khmer Rouge soldiers and cadres, and without a doubt many either participated or assisted in violent acts.

The reverse can also be said, which is that in studying the people of Anlong Veng, it might be easy to slip into an empathetic mindset in which the horrors of the regime and move-ment fade in relation to the stories and personal struggles of its individual members. Thousands of cadres and their families—including high-ranking communist leaders— were arrested and murdered throughout the country. The regime arrested, tortured, and killed members who joined the movement from its earliest days, and there was often little recourse or escape if one was suspected of disloyalty. Without a doubt, terror became a universal blanket that enslaved the society as a whole.

Even after the regime fell, the Cambodian population—both within and outside of Khmer Rouge-controlled territory—suffered incredibly. The over-ten-year war between Vietnam¬ese forces and the Khmer Rouge produced thousands of casualties on all sides. For several years the people were largely dependent on humanitarian assistance, and famine and dis¬ease were a constant threat.

The purpose of this book is to neither condemn nor venerate the people of Anlong Veng. Instead, we hope to provide a view into an under-studied community and a voice to an otherwise under-heard people. It is a universal rule that conflict resolution and peace is built and sustained on an open-minded discussion of the past.

Funding for this project was generously provided by Swiss Development Agency in Cambodia with core support from Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID).




Monograph 21  



Savina Sirik




100 pages in English


This research examines the experiences of survivors who live in an unmarked site of mass violence in Cambodia, i.e., the former Khmer Rouge prison site of Chamkar Siv in Kandal Province, during and after the Democratic Kampuchea regime (1975-79). Based on oral history interviews with survivors, this paper constructs narratives of survivors' experiences in the landscapes of violence. The findings from this study are twofold. First, individual narratives are important in providing a more complete understanding of the production of violence and acts of commemoration at the local level, despite the fact that memories of past violence have been politicized and constructed to fit within the present dominant narrative. Second, although there are variations among individual experiences, survivors' narratives are constructed in a way that corresponds to the larger historical narratives.


The youngest child and only girl among her four siblings, Sirik Savina was born in 1983 in Phnom Penh, four years after the Khmer Rouge regime. She joined the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) in 2004 as a volunteer and since then she progressed from working as a field investigator to a team leader. She led the Living Documents Project at DC-Cam, where she was responsible for planning activities, leading villagers’ tours to Phnom Penh to observe the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’s trials, and conducting forums and film screenings in villages. From 2013 to 2015, she headed the Museum of Memory, a project at the Sleuk Rith Insitute, the permanent DC-Cam, in which she developed strategic planning and proposals, coordinated with the Museum’s partners, organized exhibitions and workshops with Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the National Museum of Cambodia.

In 2011, Ms. Sirik was a fellow of the Community Solutions Program, a Professional Development Program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, implemented by IREX, an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in archaeology from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh and a Master of Arts in Peace and Reconciliation Studies from Coventry University, UK. She recently completed her second MA in Geography from Kent State University, USA, where she is also doing her Ph.D. in the same major.

Funding for this project was generously provided by Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Monograph 22


Trauma Psychology and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia


Edited by Beth Van Schaack, Daryn Reicherter

Managing Editors: Gillian Reierson




300 pages in English

(Second Edition)




The first edition of this volume was originally produced in parallel with the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of  Cambodia (ECCC) process  with an  eye toward  compiling the current research on the enduring mental health sequelae of the Khmer Rouge’s crimes—including intergenerational harm—and presenting concrete recommendations to the Royal Government of Cambodia to address the mental health needs of the Cambodian populace. In the context of Case 002/1, however, the ECCC accepted the entire book into evidence. Furthermore, the VSS and the Civil Party lawyers were able to secure funding commitments from various states (e.g., Australia, Germany, Switzerland) to enable the ECCC to render a more meaningful reparations order than it had done in Case 001.

Given the obvious utility of the first edition of this text to the ECCC proceedings, the editors decided to update the volume with new research and scholarship. The second edition thus includes updated chapters by a number of the original authors covering the impact of international crimes on psychiatry and social psychology in general and on Cambodian survivors of the Khmer Rouge in particular. The second edition contains an entirely new chapter on transcultural psychiatry by Inger Agger. Revised chapters on the impact of trauma on the courtroom include a close analysis and a critique of the proceedings before the ECCC in Cases 001 and 002/1 and the resulting judgments. Finally, Part III includes updated recommendations, although these have not changed appreciably given the lack of progress toward building a more robust and accessible mental health system in Cambodia. All told, it is hoped that this new edition will continue to inform legal proceedings before the ECCC as well as a process of mental health reform at the national level.

Funding for this project was generously provided by Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Monograph 23


Looting and plundering of Cambodian culture heritage


Alice Murgier and Chan Pronh


2017 (Coming up)


100 pages in Khmer/English




Cambodia experienced political unrest, genocide and civil war for decades. Such instability led to numerous ancient Khmer temples being destroyed and/or damaged beyond repair. Cambodian antiquities were stolen and trafficked by organized teams of looters. Those antiquities continue to be transported across borders to dealers in Khmer artifacts allegedly located in Thailand and by sea to Singapore, and some of the most prominent and distinguished Western institutions have not been innocent in this trade. This paper highlights both national and international laws, which are a useful framework to deal with the looting, trafficking, and destroying of Cambodian cultural heritage during armed conflict or peacetime. The paper also interprets and analyzes those laws, one by one, and suggests ways to claim back the objects that were looted. In addition, the paper emphasizes the duty and obligation of state party of the laws, which needs to cooperate in this process.

Funding for this project was generously provided by Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Monograph 24

Reconciliation Process in Cambodia: 1979-2007

Before the Khmer Rouge Tribunal


Dr. Ly Sok-Kheang




312 pages in Khmer/English


This dissertation attempts to fill some gaps in the reconciliation literature by presenting evidence that both state and non-state actors initiated practices to restore relationships between former adversaries after Cambodia’s 1975-1979 genocide ended. Their wide-ranging methods included exercising forgiveness, promoting peaceful co-existence, seeking justice, and acknowledging contrition and other expressions of individual culpability.

Both primary and secondary documents were analysed and nearly one hundred interviews conducted for this research, which concludes that the combination of macro (state) and micro (individual, community) reconciliation efforts permeated every facet of society. They provided Cambodians the opportunity and means to seek out peace of mind, and in doing so, possibly the capacity to forgive the wrongdoers. In the Cambodian context, forgiveness is not given in exchange for an apology. Rather, it is earned through changed behavior.

Rather than relying solely on political rapprochement or the retributive justice of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Cambodians took a wide variety of socio-political, cultural, legal, educational and traditional approaches and adapted them to their specific circumstances. As a result, the sporadic post-genocide vengeance meted out between former adversaries immediately after the fall of Democratic Kampuchea was replaced by the rule of law, a collective sense of humanity, a shared victimhood, the flourishing of religions and the memorialisation and teaching of Khmer Rouge history.

This dissertation contributes to a fuller understanding of the overall reconciliation process. The actions Cambodians took to heal can serve as a model for other post-conflict societies searching for reconciliatory approaches that fit their distinct cultures and religions, despite the inevitable challenges of socio-political instability.

Funding for this project was generously provided by Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Monograph 25

The Royal House of Cambodia


Ambassador Julio A. Jeldress, PhD




318 pages in English


A new book on The Royal House of Cambodia by Ambassador Julio A. Jeldres PhD, a former Senior Private Secretary and Official Biographer to His Late Majesty the King Father Norodom Sihanouk, launched by His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, at the Royal Palace on 19 December 2017.

The 300+ pages book is an updated version of a smaller book written by Ambassador Jeldres in 2003 and it contains several new chapters on His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni and other senior members of the Royal family, as well as Royal descendants working in Cambodia. It has new chapters also on previous monarchs beginning with His Majesty King Ang Duong.

New portraits of the senior members of the Royal Family have been photographed by well-known Cambodian photographer Makara Ouch.

The Book is published by the Sleuth Rith Institute/Documentation Center of Cambodia and will be distributed by Monument Books.

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