The suffering in cambodia during the khmer rouge

Background[ edit ] The Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penhthe capital of Cambodia, on April 17, and immediately ordered all the residents to evacuate the city. Soon, according to journalists, Cambodia resembled "a giant prison camp with the urban supporters of the former regime being worked to death on thin gruel and hard labor. As virtually no Westerners were allowed to visit Cambodia, those refugees plus the official news outlets of the Khmer Rouge were the principal sources of information about conditions in Cambodia for the next four years. The "standard total academic view on Cambodia"[ edit ] Beachler has described the late s debate about the character of the Khmer Rouge.

The suffering in cambodia during the khmer rouge

In a subsequent articleevaluating the toll on the basis of population estimates, Kiernan notes that the toll could be somewhat higher than his initial calculations would suggest: There are, however, some aspects of Kiernan's calculations which begin to seem questionable in light of other evidence.

A few of these issues become apparent when we consider an alternative analysis, put forth by Craig Etcheson. Craig Etcheson Inthe Documentation Center of Cambodia began to address the question of how many victims died during Khmer Rouge regime. Insummarizing the previous five years' research Craig Etcheson wrote a lengthy article entitled " The Number: Quantifying Crimes Against Humanity in Cambodia.

When this estimate of the Khmer Rouge death toll was first publicized in the early s, commentators in the West almost universally dismissed it as a product of 'Vietnamese propaganda,' an invented figure designed strictly for political purposes.

In the early s, the authorities of the People's Republic of Kampuchea carried out what amounted to a national household survey, aiming to interview every head of household in the entire country about what had happened to their families during the Pol Pot regime. On July 25,the 'Research Committee on Pol Pot's Genocidal Regime' issued its final report, including detailed province by province data.

Among other things, their data showed that 3, people lost their lives in the 'Pol Pot time. Those records allowed DC-Cam researchers to reconstruct the methodology employed by the PRK Research Committee, and some flaws were detected in the research design, flaws, which would tend to lead to an overestimation of the total casualty figure.

The suffering in cambodia during the khmer rouge

The Research Committee interviewers of the early 's had gone from house to house, and from village to village, collecting information regarding death during the Khmer Rouge regime. It appears, however, that they did not adequately account for the fact that extended families are usually spread out across more than one household or village, and therefore double counting of some victims could occur based on reports from different households belonging to the same extended family.

By Bopha Chan Dara Duong never got a chance to say goodbye to his father. Dara, founder of the Cambodian Cultural Museum and Killing Fields Memorial, shares his personal story how the Khmer Rouge stole his father away. Compassion for homeless, imperiled and starving refugees made Gov. Ray one of Iowa's greatest humanitarians. When The War Was Over: Cambodia And The Khmer Rouge Revolution, Revised Edition [Elizabeth Becker] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Becker started covering Cambodia in for The Washington Post.

Between andDC-Cam teams surveyed some 20, graves. The final toll, Etcheson predicted, "could eventually reach substantially higher, perhaps as high as 1.

The suffering in cambodia during the khmer rouge

If these calculations of the proportion of deaths due to causes other than execution are accurate, then we begin to approach an astonishing conclusion. It begins to look possible that the original Cambodian estimate of 3. In either case, we would be driven to the conclusion that not one million, not two million, but rather three million Cambodians died untimely deaths during the Khmer Rouge regime.


According to Etcheson, however, this was not his intention. Personally, Etcheson suggests that the death toll was between 2 and 2. Etcheson outlines a few of the problems inherent in relying on the data from mass graves. He cites a passage from Vickery's Cambodiawhere Vickery writes: Yathay pointed out that in Pursat in mass graves were for those who died of hunger and illness, while executions took place in isolation in the forest.

KR Years: The Work Camps

Moreover, some of thewar victims are buried in mass graves, and without forensic tests it is probably impossible to determine whether death occurred before or after It turns out that local informants, in most cases, recall the names of the cadre who were in charge of these Khmer Rouge prisons or killing centers.

As often as not, it is subsequently possible to locate this former Khmer Rouge security cadre for follow-up interviews. Etcheson argues, however, that the experience of the teams has enabled them to achieve good results overall, and that the methodology used in compiling the estimates contains, in general, a conservative bias.

Kiernan, meanwhile, disputes suggestions that the mapping data suggests a higher toll than his own estimate of roughly 1.

The Killing Fields Museum of Cambodia - News

He points out that Etcheson's remark that the mass graves contain victims of execution does not preclude the possibility that many of these same graves might also contain victims who died from other causes.

Kiernan's phrasing implies that Yathay says that victims of hunger and disease were buried, but that victims of execution were not; yet Yathay said no such thing. Moreover, it is not at all clear that what Yathay describes in Pursat should be called mass graves. The burials took place in what were, in effect, makeshift cemeteries, bearing little resemblance to the mass graves unearthed by the mapping project.

Click here to see an English translation of the excerpt. Etcheson's assumption in the mapping report is that the mass graves contain victims of execution, and not victims of starvation and disease.

If Vickery and Kiernan's interpretation of Yathay were correct, and victims of execution were killed in isolation in the forest, their remains would probably not have wound up in the mass graves.

In such a scenario, the number of remains from the mass graves still represents only a partial toll. Kiernan's objections, however, go deeper. He argues that Etcheson's extrapolation "ignores all the Cambodian demographic data. Exaggerating a horrific death toll, it contributes to the ethnic auctioneering of genocide research.The Khmer Rouge was the ruling political party of Cambodia—which it renamed the Democratic Kampuchea—from to The term "Khmer Rouge," meaning "Red Khmer" in French, was coined by Cambodian head of state Norodom Sihanouk and was later adopted by English was used to refer to a succession of Communist parties in Cambodia which evolved into the .

The Work Camps: Life and Death in the Farming Cooperatives.

The Rise of the Khmer Rouge

One of the main goals behind resettling urban residents into the countryside was to build a new Cambodia focused on agricultural success: "to build socialism in the fields," as it was once suggested (Chandler, History of Cambodia, ). When The War Was Over: Cambodia And The Khmer Rouge Revolution, Revised Edition [Elizabeth Becker] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Becker started covering Cambodia in for The Washington Post. Looking for Cambodia News: or Khmer News: or current situation in Cambodia, is the site for you. is the Cambodian Information Center (CIC) providing relevant and informative information about Cambodia and its people. 1 The Collin College Book-In-Common Committee Presents A Teaching Guide to Accompany Loung Ung’s First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia.

Cambodian genocide denial is the belief expressed by many Western academics that claims of atrocities by the Khmer Rouge government () in Cambodia were much exaggerated. Many scholars of Cambodia and intellectuals, opposed to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, denied or minimized the human rights abuses of the Khmer Rouge, characterizing contrary information as .

A Long History of Rights Abuses by Hun Sen’s Generals | HRW