Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Miniseries to examine forced marriage, Khmer Rouge tribunal



Miniseries to examine forced marriage, Khmer Rouge tribunal

Miniseries to examine forced marriage, Khmer Rouge tribunal

A new miniseries on the subject of forced marriage at the Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to air in December, with the producer hoping the show will help increase general awareness of the proceedings at the court.

A preview screening of the first of six episodes was held at the residence of UK Ambassador Bill Longhurst yesterday. The producer, Olivier Van Bockstael, was present, as were several experts.

The series, titled Time to Speak Out, is “designed for a Khmer audience”, according to Van Bockstael. The first episode featured two Cambodian hosts who explained the concept of forced marriage, as well as interviews with survivors and experts. When English-speaking experts were interviewed, their speech was dubbed in Khmer.

The episode provided background on forced marriage and explained why it was included in the charges facing Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. It also included harrowing interviews with survivors and tribunal testimony.

One of the survivors interviewed for the program described being nailed to the ground with bamboo stakes before being raped.Van Bockstael said the main purpose of the show is to give the average Cambodian a clearer understanding of what is happening at the court.

Lars Olsen, a spokesman for the court, said the information was conveyed in a “format which obviously simplifies things”, but praised it overall for increasing awareness and “portraying some of the substance in an informative way”.

Another of Van Bockstael’s main objectives is to “explore links between sexual violence during the Khmer Rouge and the situation in Cambodia today”.

Theresa de Langis, an expert on forced marriage, likewise noted Cambodia still has “a long way to go” in addressing gender inequality, and said Cambodian society is “wary of opening up those kinds of conversations”, but hoped programs like this one could help initiate a national dialogue.

Youk Chhang, a Khmer Rouge survivor and director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, echoed de Langis in a phone interview yesterday. “It’s still a contemporary issue,” he said, adding that he hoped the show could help with the process of “liberating women from the male-dominated society”.

Len Sievlan, a student of de Langis, explained that one continued negative effect of forced marriage is higher rates of domestic violence in those relationships. Sievlan said many feel they can’t escape the marriage they were forced into.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from