Conviction of Khmer Rouge Leaders Noun Chea and Khieu Samphan

The United States welcomes the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’s issuance of the judgment finding former Khmer Rouge leaders Khieu Samphan and Noun Chea guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide. In their capacities as Head of State for the Khmer Rouge regime and as the Deputy Chairman of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan and Noun Chea, respectively, were charged with genocide against the Cham and the Vietnamese; forced marriages and rape; and crimes committed at the notorious S-21, Ta Chan, Au Kanseng and Phnom Kraol Security Centers as well as at other forced labor sites. Their crimes were numerous, calculated, and grave. During the terror of the Khmer Rouge regime, nearly one quarter of the Cambodian population was murdered or died from starvation and deprivation. We especially commend the courage of the nearly 63 victims and 114 witnesses who testified, and we hope the truths uncovered through the fair and impartial trial will bring some measure of peace to the millions of victims and their families.

The United States is proud to have supported the efforts to hold these perpetrators of atrocity crimes to account. Let this be a message to other perpetrators of mass atrocities, even those at the highest levels, including former heads of state, that such actions will not be tolerated and they will ultimately be brought to justice.

Statement, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, November 16, 2018