A Change of Guard

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Wednesday 31 December 2008

Cambodia receives Khmer Rouge films from Vietnam

Mr. Youk Chhang (L).
A man visits Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh. [AFP]

A man visits Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh. [AFP]

Cambodia has received 20 Khmer Rouge documentary films from Vietnam, which will be used as evidence against the regime at the trial of top Khmer leaders.

Chhang Youk, director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, says the films are in English and Khmer, and were mostly made by Vietnamese soldiers between 1973 and 1982.

He says they cover several aspects of the regime of interest to the trial, including conditions for children, the notorious Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh, treatment of foreigners, and killings of Vietnamese citizens in Vietnam's Tai Ninh Province.

Chhang Youk told reporters that Vietnam is the first ASEAN country to provide key documents ahead of the trials of jailed Khmer leaders, which Cambodia is preparing to open early next year.

Five Khmer Rouge leaders are being held in a pretrial detention center at the United Nations-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

''The films are parts of our history and they are considered as hard evidence besides the reading texts," Chhang Youk said.

"These films will help the younger generation to a better understanding of our history,'' he added.

He says while Vietnam has cooperated with his center since 1998, China and Thailand have failed to do so even though he says they may have similar films.

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