Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Civil party links Samphan to forced marriage policy

Civil party links Samphan to forced marriage policy

Civil party Chea Dieb testifies at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in Phnom Penh yesterday. ECCC
Civil party Chea Dieb testifies at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in Phnom Penh yesterday. ECCC

Civil party links Samphan to forced marriage policy

Civil party Chea Dieb directly implicated Khieu Samphan in the Khmer Rouge regime’s alleged policy of forced marriage, testifying at the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday that the former head of state had demanded female cadres be arranged to be married and begin having children.

Samphan and his co-defendant, Nuon Chea, are both on trial for various crimes against humanity attributed to the regime, with the court recently hearing testimony pertaining to charges of forced marriage and rape.

Dieb yesterday testified to meeting Samphan in Phnom Penh while she was assigned to a female mobile unit. She said Samphan told her unit that all female cadres 19 and older needed to be arranged to be married.

“He said that we should get married so that they could produce more children,” Dieb said.

Dieb herself was forced to marry shortly thereafter. She said she had previously refused to marry twice before becoming fearful for her life and acquiescing.

Dieb met her husband on the day of her wedding at the age of 19. She said officials told them to produce as many children as possible. Initially, Dieb did not want to consummate the marriage, even though she and her husband were being monitored at night.

“Whose decision was it to consummate the marriage?” civil party lawyer Sin Soworn asked.

“It was his choice,” Dieb said, referring to her husband.

Before Dieb took the stand, tensions ran high as Nuon Chea defence lawyer Victor Koppe questioned the previous civil party, Seng Soeun, about a mass execution of ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese he testified to witnessing.

Koppe asked if Soeun was involved in the executions, before suggesting that the court and civil party lawyers had neglected to inform Soeun that he had a right to avoid self-incrimination.

Civil party lead co-lawyer Marie Guiraud objected, arguing Koppe’s accusation was inappropriate – an assertion supported by prosecutor Dale Lysak.

“You were not an innocent bystander, correct?” Koppe asked Soeun when he was allowed to continue, drawing another objection.

Judge Claudia Fenz interrupted the proceedings to remind Koppe of proper etiquette.

“We are in the same trial as you are,” Fenz said, to which Koppe retorted, “That, I sincerely doubt.”

Soeun denied participating in the execution.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided