The striking first front page of DC-Cam's new magazine is a rare photo featuring (left to right): an unidentified KR official, Khieu Ponnary, Nuon Chea, an official believed to be Vorn Vet, Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot, Yun Yat, and Ieng Thirith.
he Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) is currently finalizing the first issue
of a new magazine, which it will publish in connection with the upcoming trial of
former Khmer Rouge leaders.
The first issue of the Khmer-language magazine, named after DC-Cam's motto "Svaing
rouk kapit" (Searching for the Truth), is expected to come out by the end of
this month and will subsequently be published every second month for the next two
The 60-page magazine will primarily cover the KR tribunal in great detail, not only
by reporting on the actual court proceedings, but also by explaining and discussing
the legal process behind the trial.
Furthermore, Searching for the Truth will contain articles and essays on issues such
as violence against women, ethnic Vietnamese or monks during the regime - issues
that may not arise from the trial itself. DC-Cam is also considering including a
profile of a KR leader in each issue of the magazine.
For these elements, the magazine will draw on the enormous store of evidence and
documents in DC-Cam's archives. Since 1995, DC-Cam has collected evidence and testimony
about atrocities committed during the 1975-79 KR regime.
Contents will be written and edited by a panel of independent journalists, Cambodia
scholars and legal experts.
According to DC-Cam Director Youk Chhang, the purpose of the magazine is to inform
and educate Cambodians about the KR regime and the judicial process behind the tribunal.
"Whenever we talk to victims of the KR regime they almost always say something
along the line of 'I want to know what happened, who ordered the killings, and why'.
Publicizing exactly what happens as the KR trial proceeds will provide that truth-telling
mechanism; that is important for national reconciliation," says Youk.
"Also, there is an understandable lack of legal sophistication on the part of
the general public. To ensure that justice is done in the courtroom and is seen to
be done by the public, there is a need to raise the public's general awareness of
how the rule of law is - or is not - reflected in the KR tribunal".
The first issue of the Searching for the Truth will have a print run of 2,000 copies
and be distributed for free to district authorities all over Cambodia.
Youk is working to secure funding to increase the circulation to 40,000 free copies,
which will reach all the way down to commune level. Also in the works is an English-language
version of the magazine which will be sold for a yet-to-be-determined price to defer
the cost of the Khmer version.
Youk also hopes to publish Searching for the Truth on the Internet, thus making it
available to the estimated one million Cambodians living overseas.