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Cambodian Genocide

Human Rights Law
by

Diana Vigliotti

on 22 January 2013

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Transcript of Cambodian Genocide

Introduction The Cambodian genocide is the largest mass genocide to ever occur in Asia. This began in 1975 and lasted four long years until 1979. The Cambodian genocide was an attempt by the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot to seize control of Cambodia. Khmer Rouge's goal was to crate a new Cambodia based on the type of communism where everyone is equal and all social classes are demolished. They wanted to transform the population into a labour work force that would strengthen the economy. Pol Pot's plans were to nationalize and centralize the peasant farming society of Cambodia virtually overnight, similarly with the Chinese Communist agricultural model. This resulted in the gradual devastation of over 25% of the country’s population in just four short years. Anyone in opposition was forced to be eliminated by torturous acts. Victims in the Genocide In order to achieve the “ideal” communist model, the Khmer Rouge believed that all Cambodians must be made to work as laborer in one huge federation of farms. Anyone in opposition to this system must be eliminated. This list of “potential opposition” included, intellectuals, educated people, professionals, children, the ill, pregnant mothers, monks, religious enthusiasts, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Cambodians with Chinese, Vietnamese or Thai ancestry. Khmer Rouge's Goals and Strategies Once the Khmer Rouge had gained power, and stabilized their four-year plan, they set in on their prize possession: the capital city of Phnom Penh. On April 1, 1975, President Lon Nol stepped down from being president in fear of his life. He knew that the Khmer Rouge was about to attack, and knowing he was in the prime opposition, he fled for his life. With no military, the Khmer Rouge soldiers marched into the capital on April 17, 1975, and evacuated 2.5 million people out of the city in two to three days. People were told lies by Khmer Rouge in order for them to move without hesitation. One of the lies were "America was threatening a bomb and Cambodia needs to move their people to safety". All other cities were evacuated and brought to rural areas. All in opposition were automatically killed because they were seen as threats to Khmer Rouge.

- After the Khmer Rouge had effectively transported all the people into the rural areas, the four-year plan began. They transformed all Cambodians into a labor workforce that grew rice until they died. Cambodians were killed for not working hard enough, stealing food, having sexual relations or wearing jewelery. All political and civil rights of the citizen were abolished. Children were taken from their parents and placed in separate forced labor camps.To reduce the number of weapons used to killed people, they would them in plastic bags or striking them with pick axes. Along with being murdered, Cambodians died of hunger, disease, exhaustion, and exposure. One million people were executed either in the “Killing Fields”. How was the Conflict Resolved? Cambodia laid in ruins and suffering before help was found.These conditions of genocide continued for three years until Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978 and overthrew the Khmer Rouge government. To this point, civilian deaths totaled well over 2 million. The Khmer Rouge went on fighting the Vietnam. The Khmer Rouge continued to exist until 1999 when all of its leaders had defected to the Royal Government of Cambodia, been arrested, or had died. But their legacy remained. Cambodia was very secretive at that time so I would imagine how hard it would have been to think a genocide was occurring. But that is no excuse help and an invasion should have been received sooner. Many victims and survivors fled to refugee camps in Thailand or immigrated to the United States. Many survivors have mental disorders today due to the vision of death and the torture. Many genocide scholars believed that Cambodia is not considered a "genocide" under the United Nations Convention because it did not target a specific ethnicity. Cambodia now lives in a place were they are reminded everyday by the past. Children play in "killing fields" and mass graves are discovered frequently. Cambodia will never forget the genocide that occurred and the family that they lost. UDHR As defined in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention, the crime of genocide takes in:

- "killing," which would be defined in human rights language as violation of the right to life

-"causing serious bodily or mental harm," which violates security of person and is also likely to constitute torture or inhuman or degrading treatment

-"inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction," which also constitutes arbitrary deprivation of life

-"preventing births within the group," which interferes with the rights to privacy and family

-"forcibly transferring children of the group to another group," which violates the rights to privacy and family, as well as the rights of the child. Suggested Reading "After The Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide" By: Craig Etcheson
- This book is about the aftermath of the crimes taken place during the Cambodian genocide. Etcheson has mapped killing fields, interviewed the killers themselves, and his decades of research in Cambodia has given him refreshing common sense.The book probes the culture of impunity and enhances our understanding of this complex issue. "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remember" By: Lung Ung
- Covering the years from 1975 to 1979, the story moves from the deaths of multiple family members to the forced separation of the survivors. This lead to reanimation of families, along with marriages and immigrations. - A web article from Divine Caroline. It is in titled "My Interview of a Cambodian Genocide Survivor" and is written by Liz Grover. Grover explains her three months in Cambodia. She searched to find answers to her questions about the Cambodian genocide and came across a survivor. She writes about Anna's life and the in-depth interview she had with her.

http://www.divinecaroline.com/33/89621-interview-cambodian
-genocide-survivor VIDEOS This is a video about a Cambodian survivor. he tells his story and memories of when he was a child. This is a video about Pol Pot. He is considered the most evil man in history. The Cambodian Genocide
Human Rights This is Pol Pot.... The leader of the Khmer Rouge MY OPINION Pol Pot was the communist leader of the Khmer Rouge and is considered one of the most evil men in history. He turned Cambodia into a killing field and murdered millions of people. How can someone be responsible for killing 2 million people and the world not be informed about it? I was surprised at how little I knew about such a large event in history. I don't think the world is educated about Pol Pot and the Cambodian genocide. It is a shame that light has not been shed on this issue, instead it has been in the dark all these years.

Human's rights were stripped from their bodies and their dignity was torn from their soul. The amount of pain, torture, and suffering that Cambodian's must have gone through is unimaginable. The fact that Pol Pot is not a name that is known is a disgrace. The world should be educated by these terrifying events in order to learn form them. The Cambodian genocide is something that should be shared so that people are not isolated to other countries issues and able to have knowledge about real problems occurring. I learned about how cruel the world can be, which made me grateful for where I live today. By: Diana Vigliotti THANK YOU!
And I hope you learned as much as I did!
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