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Khmer Rouge victims remembered

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iol news pic Cambodia Day of Anger

AP

Cambodian students re-enact torture executed by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror in the 1970s to mark the annual "Day of Anger" at Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "killing field" dotted with mass graves, south Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual 'Day of Anger' event to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

CHOEUNG EK, Cambodia - Black-clad students wielding branches and bamboo sticks on Monday mimed the abuse and murder of Khmer Rouge victims to remember the dead on Cambodia's annual “Day of Anger”.

Hundreds of people, including monks and children, watched the re-enactment at the Choeung Ek “Killing Fields” on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the site of mass graves for victims of the 1975-79 hardline communist regime.

Dozens of fine art students recreated the bloody scene at the emotional event, which is organised by Phnom Penh authorities.

“It reminded me of the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge,” said Sor Nasuon, 68, who lost her husband and four children under the regime.

“I want the court to hasten the trial and to render justice for all victims quickly,” she told AFP.

The Khmer Rouge's two most senior surviving leaders are currently in the dock at a UN-backed court in the Cambodian capital for crimes against humanity, genocide and other atrocities.

iol news pic Cambodia Day of Anger~1

A Cambodian woman pray with burned incense sticks in front of a memorial holding skulls of the Khmer Rouge victims at Choeung Ek 'killing field' in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, May 20, 2013. Cambodian Buddhist monks, nuns, civil servants, students attend the annual 'Day of Anger' event to remember the atrocities and killings committed under the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

AP

Another defendant, co-founder Ieng Sary, died in March aged 87, adding to fears that elderly regime leaders may not live to hear verdicts on their alleged roles in the atrocities.

Led by “Brother Number One” Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied cities and abolished money and schools in a bid to create an agrarian utopia.

Up to two million people were executed or died from starvation, overwork or torture during their brutal reign.

The court has so far achieved just one conviction, sentencing former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, to life in jail for overseeing the deaths of about 15 000 people. - Sapa-AFP


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