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KR survivor stories adapted to stage

THE stories of Khmer Rouge cadres and survivors will be performed on stage this Friday at the National Institute of Education, as the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) and Amrita Peforming Arts bring a dramatisation of a DC-Cam documentary to Phnom Penh for the final leg of a travelling tour.

Seven actors portray the victims and cadres as part of the one-hour performance, called Breaking the Silence. The production toured Cambodia for the first time last year, and DC-Cam decided to reprise it as the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s critical second case approaches. That case will include the four regime leaders awaiting trial: Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Khieu Samphan.

The performances began last week and have been held in Kampot and Takeo provinces, with two staged at Takeo’s Kraing Ta Chan prison, one of the sites falling under the scope of investigation in Case 002.

Coupled with these performances are daily radio broadcasts on three stations, as well as classroom performances for high school students, DC-Cam outreach coordinator Sayana Ser said.

“It is important for people to know about Case 002. People have the right to participate in the tribunal process because there are many people who still have questions that they need answered,” she said. “The [court] belongs to the people of Cambodia. It was created for them and is one way to reconcile and to seek justice on some level.”

Suon Bun Rith, country director for Amrita Performing Arts, said Breaking the Silence came to fruition after two years of research by DC-Cam.

“I have been working on it since the very beginning, and I really think this can serve as a healing process for people and can allow people to be involved in the tribunal process,” he said.

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