Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Reassessing the evil of the Khmer Rouge as a politics of genocide

Reassessing the evil of the Khmer Rouge as a politics of genocide

Reassessing the evil of the Khmer Rouge as a politics of genocide

090720_18
Francis Deron says the Khmer Rouge was a regime founded on mass murder. PHOTO SUPPLIED

French journalist says the Khmer Rouge trials represent the first ‘authentic’ judgment of a communist regime led by 'mass murderers'

Duch's trial is a publishing opportunity. Le Procès des Khmers Rouges, 30 ans d'enquête sur le génocide cambodgien could be translated as "Khmer Rouge trial, 30 years of investigation on the Cambodian genocide".

The author, Francis Deron, is a French journalist who wants this book to counter "a view that tends to give Pol Pot and his right-hand men a less-grim place in the twentieth century". "For my part," the author says, "I don't see that these men are anything else than mass murderers". Clearly, Francis Deron believes it was genocide.

The trial in Cambodia should help review this history even if it is "impossible to penetrate all the mystery of the Democratic Kampuchea".
According to Francis Deron, the main thing is that "this is the first authentic trial of a communist regime" and will probably remain the only one possible for such a form of governance that the author considers as "an imposture".

This book notes the gap between the young Cambodian generation and the people who lived under the Khmer Rouge regime and attempts to link past and present.

In the first chapter, the author leads the reader from Phnom Penh on July 20, 1962, to Battambang in 2008. The chronologies spread in the different chapters support this return to the past.

The book focuses on S-21, its former director Duch, on the most responsible Khmer Rouge leaders and on the movement's history, from origins to Pol Pot's death in 1998.

It presents information to aid understanding of the challenges of the trials.
This book is aimed at the general public.

It compiles information from other books written on Khmer Rouge history, like those of David Chandler, Philip Short, Nayan Chanda's Brother Enemy, Elizabeth Becker's When The War Was Over, Norodom Sihanouk's Prisoner of the Khmer Rouge and stories from survivors.

Articles and interviews are referenced, too. Compared with the existing books, the most effective parts of Deron's book are his own reports, which bring something very personal in the text.

Among the most interesting examples: the story of his report within the nationalist Khmer resistance on the Thai border in July 1985 or the profiles of the Khmer Rouge leaders in which he melds historical details to field reports.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman