A LEGAL assistance programme run by local rights group Adhoc for victims of the Khmer Rouge has been suspended due to lack of funding, Adhoc representatives said Sunday.
Adhoc’s Khmer Rouge Trials and International Criminal Court Programme had been working since 2007 to monitor the Khmer Rouge tribunal, increase awareness of the trials and register civil party applicants. As of the end of March, however, the initiative does not have the funds to continue, project coordinator Latt Ky said.
“I am very worried that there is no one to donate funds to our project,” Latt Ky said. “If funds are not given, the victims ... will not have the ability to
understand the court’s procedure.”
Of the 4,004 civil party applicants for the court’s second case, Latt Ky said 1,827 had been submitted through his programme. With the suspension of funding, however, he said he had been forced to lay off 26 staff members and halt outreach activities.
Helen Jarvis, head of the tribunal’s Victims Support Section, said her office had been aware of the impending conclusion of funding for the Adhoc programme for several months, and was working to ensure that services to complainants and civil party applicants aided by Adhoc would not be interrupted.
“We’re very appreciative of the outreach work that Adhoc has done,” she said. “We’ve been trying to take over as best we can.”
Latt Ky said he had submitted a proposal for extended funding to several international organisations and embassies, but had not received any positive responses as of Sunday.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE