Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Senior minister, early KR researcher dies at age 78

Senior minister, early KR researcher dies at age 78

Former minister of cults and religion, Min Khin, talks during a cultural event at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk Theatre in 2008.
Former minister of cults and religion, Min Khin, talks during a cultural event at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk Theatre in 2008. Heng Chivoan

Senior minister, early KR researcher dies at age 78

Min Khin, a senior minister and one of the earliest advocates for an international tribunal to prosecute crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime, died on Friday morning at the age of 78.

Khin’s eldest son, Min Madeth, said on Thursday that treatment his father had been receiving in Thailand in recent months had ceased to be effective and the family were to transport him back to Phnom Penh to deliver his last words to his loved ones that night.

Government spokesperson Phay Siphan said yesterday that Khin was on the verge of death for the journey and stopped breathing when oxygen delivery equipment was removed upon his arrival on Friday morning.

Khin was minister of cults and religion from 2008 until this March, when he was appointed minister of special missions in a reshuffle.

With the exception of the Khmer Rouge regime, Khin spent the majority of his adult life in public service. Prior to the evacuation of Phnom Penh, he had been a clerk at the city’s municipal court. It was this legal apprenticeship that would provide him with the tools to set about in 1979 becoming, in the words of director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) Youk Chhang, “the first Cambodian genocide researcher in Cambodia”.

Khin was employed by the Vietnamese-led government in 1979 to travel the country collecting survivor testimony “with empty hands [and] only a piece of paper and a pencil to document the Khmer Rouge crimes”, Chhang said. In 1983, Khin published his report and, along with it, a petition bearing the signatures and thumbprints of 1.1 million survivors. The petition called for an international tribunal to investigate and try the crimes of the Khmer Rouge.

Khin had said that lack of international recognition for the People’s Republic of Kampuchea left the petition with nowhere to be delivered, and when Vietnamese forces withdrew in 1989, the boxes containing his research were almost cast into the Mekong River along with thousands of other official documents.

The boxes, however, were saved and provided Chhang with the foundations to begin his work at DC-Cam, following up with as many of the signatories as he could, eventually leading to thousands of civil party suits at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. “He actually captured the history of the crimes in a way nobody else can do it,” Chhang said.

Khin is survived by six children.

MOST VIEWED

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Kingdom’s exports to US mushroom 25.94% in first five months to $2.4B

    Though Cambodia’s exports to other countries have been stalled amid the evolving Covid-19 environment, the Kingdom’s shipments to the US were worth 25.94 per cent more in the first five months of this year than they were in the year-ago period. Bilateral trade between

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was