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You wait 30 years then...

At last some of the leaders of the notorious Khmer Rouge are on trial for the numerous atrocities they committed during their reign in 1970s Cambodia. It’s only taken 30 years…

An estimated two million people were killed by the regime.

Anyway given all that it was perhaps no surprise that, as The Times reported, the court room in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, was packed as people at last saw justice begin to take its course.

Duch was the first of the former regime to take the stand on Monday. The former prison chief for the Khmer Rouge is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as murder and torture.

Amnesty has naturally being calling for the perpetrators to be held accountable for their crimes for decades – so this is a welcome development. And in a slightly belated show of remorse, Duch apologised for his actions as the BBC reported.

However, frankly there are plenty more that need to face justice, and it’s little short of a travesty that only four other other members of the Khmer Rouge regime are due to face the court.

Millions were affected by their crimes and many more need to face justice before it’s too late.

The reality is that those who suffered and survived are getting old, and the same goes for those who need to be held responsible. Justice needs to be delivered before the chance to do so literally dies.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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