Cambodian genocide: three years, eight months and twenty days of terror

Between April 1975 and January 1979, Cambodia turned into a nightmare and suffered one of the biggest massacres in history: almost two million people were murdered under the regime of the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot. There are no exact figures, but it is estimated that in the three years, eight months and twenty days of the terror, up to a third of the population may have disappeared.

This period was one of family separation, forced marriages, slavery, epidemics, hunger, tortures, executions and the end of the modernity. Hundreds of thousands of mass graves have been identified all over the country, and it is thought that they may contain hundreds of thousands of disappeared people. There is still no certainty as to how many.

In November 2018, almost forty years after the fall of the said regime, its two highest leaders (Nuon Chea, the Regime ideologist, and Khieu Samphan, the head of the State Democratic Kampuchea), still alive, have been found guilty of genocide against the Vietnamese and the Cham Muslim community and condemned to life imprisonment. It is the first time that an international court has recognised any of those crimes as genocide.

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