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Cambodia ruling party denounces critics of Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal

[JURIST] The Cambodian People's Party (CPP) [party website, in English], the ruling party of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen [official profile; BBC profile], urged critics of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] Sunday to adopt "more balanced views on their stands and activities" and to refrain from "trying to blackmail [Cambodia's] judiciary system, sovereignty and nation honor and distort [its] history to serve [their] own political agendas." The speech [text, in English] delivered by Samdech Chea Sim, president of the CPP and the Cambodian Senate, on the 28th anniversary celebrating the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge, the communist party whose leaders are accused of conducting the genocide of the "killing fields" in the 1970s, also reiterated the CPP's support for the tribunal process.

In early December, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] accused the Cambodian government of delaying the genocide tribunals and interfering with the tribunal's judicial independence [JURIST report]. The ECCC was established by a 2001 law [text as amended 2005, PDF] to investigate and try those responsible for the 1975-79 Cambodian genocide that led to the deaths of at least 1.5 million Cambodians. To date, no top Khmer Rogue officials have faced trial and questions have been raised concerning exactly how many of the Khmer Rouge's top officials will face the tribunal, as several of those responsible for the genocide have died [JURIST report] in recent months and others are in failing health. AFP has more.

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