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Civil party recalls last days of Khmer Rouge

Civil party Lach Kry testifies at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal yesterday. ECCC
Civil party Lach Kry testifies at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal yesterday. ECCC

Civil party recalls last days of Khmer Rouge

Civil party Lach Kry recounted his survival in the last days of Democratic Kampuchea in his statement of suffering yesterday at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, following closed sessions that extended into the afternoon.

“Nothing could compare to the misery that we received,” he said, adding that after being taken to Battambang, his family and fellow villagers were forced to march about 8 kilometres.

“I had elder parents, so I had to carry both of them,” Kry continued.

Later, he was assigned to fish on the Tonle Sap until one day “there were 10 Pol Pot soldiers who were walking behind us and actually they opened fire at our group”.

“I did not know how many casualties they inflicted upon us . . . [there were] 12 of us that survived,” Kry continued, recalling that subsequent radio broadcasts alleged he was “the ringleader of a rebellious group”, which he later discovered resulted in the killing of his parents, wife and children.

Fleeing towards Pursat province, the group of eight men and four women crossed several battlefields, during which four were shot dead. In another instance, Kry discovered a pit with 20 to 30 dead bodies behind a hill. After the liberation, Kry was captured by Vietnamese forces who suspected him of being Khmer Rouge, but freed him when his brother “and about 100 other people begged for me to be released”.

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