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What do you think of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal?

Hok Oma, 21, second-year student at University of Health Science of Cambodia
“In Buddhism, we do not believe in taking revenge on one another. I do not want the Court to prosecute the former leaders of the Regime. They are already old, and if we sentence them to prison, it will be difficult for them to live in those conditions. Just as importantly, I do not want to continually be reminded of our painful history. I think that the government should spend money on developing the country and making it a good country for the new generation, instead of putting money towards the Tribunal.”

Pha Ravuth, 22, second-year student at Royal University of Phnom Penh
“I support the efforts of the tribunal and welcome the court to sentence the former leaders of the regime to prison. Although I was not born during the regime, I am still a victim. Hearing stories and watching movies about that time is painful, and scary. Also, the tribunal illustrates that when you commit a crime, justice will be served.”

HengTanmardy, 23, recent graduate of Royal University of Law and Economics
“On behalf of Cambodian citizens, I support the court in prosecuting the former leaders of the regime. I believe that the court can find justice for the victims, at least to some extent. I can say that the survivors of the regime testifying in court reveal the true brutality of that time. Hopefully, these victims can release some of the trauma and begin the process of healing. I completely support the court in prosecuting more war criminals from the regime.”

You Ratanaksamrith, 20, third-year student at Institute of Foreign Languages
“From my point of view, I cannot see any benefits in having the court prosecute the former leaders of the regime. It’s a waste of money now, since they are already so old. I think it would be more fruitful for the government to spend money on developing the country, instead of putting it towards the tribunal and its expensive proceedings.”

Phoeung Sreymom, 22, first-year student at Institute of Foreign Languages
“Although I was not born during the regime, I strongly support the court in prosecuting the guilty. Because of the former leaders, many were killed. My parents, and my relatives, lived through those harsh conditions. I feel pity for my parents, and all of my fellow Cambodians who survived the regime, because they are innocent. Yet, they were treated badly, and tortured as if they weren’t even human beings. I sincerely believe that the tribunal will bring the people justice, and allow for the process of emotional healing. Also, the tribunal is sending a good message to the young generation: you cannot get away with crime.”

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