Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pol Pot

Pol Pot was the leader of the Cambodian communist movement known as the Khmer Rouge and was Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea from 1976-1979. During Pol Pot's reign in power, he wanted to turn Cambodia into an agrarian place. Pol Pot forced the citizens to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labor jobs. Pol Pot's goal was to ''restart civilization''.

In the year 1979, after the invasion of Cambodia by neighboring Vietnam in the Cambodian-Vietnamese War, Pol Pot retreated into the jungles of southwest Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge collapsed.

Pol Pot died in 1998 while held under house arrest by the Ta Mok faction of the Khmer Rouge. since his death, rumors that he was poisoned have persisted.

Life in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime

The Khmer Rouge wanted to transform Cambodia into a rural and classless society. They wanted no rich people, no poor people, and no exploitation. The Khmer Rouge wanted to accomplish, so they put it into action by abolishing money, free markets, normal schooling, private property, clothing styles, religion/ religious practices, and traditional culture. They turned public schools, pagodas, churches, universities, shops, and government buildings into into prisons, stables, and reeducation facilities/camps. The Khmer Rouge got rid of all public and private transportation.

During the time of all this, everyone was stripped of their basic (human) rights. People were banned from going outside their work zone. The Khmer Rouge's regime banned people from gathering and having discussions, if violated, they could be accused of being enemies which will lead to a punishment of arrest or execution. Family relationships were also heavily forbid. People were forbidden from showing even the slightest form of affection. The Khmer Rouge demanded all the people of Cambodia to obey and respect only them. The Khmer Rouge claimed that only people of ''purity'' were qualified in building the revolution.

Human rights that were violated:

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 16.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

''Genocide is the violation of human rights based on the extermination of a national, racial, political or cultural group. ''

Political and security systems in Cambodia under the rule of the Khmer Rouge (1975-79):

The political and security systems in Cambodia under the rule of the Khmer Rouge in the years 1975 to 1979 include: Arrests, imprisonments, interrogations, torture, and executions:

Cambodians who were suspected of being enemies were arrested, tortured, and then executed by the Khmer Rouge under their regime. People who were suspected to be ‘’enemies’’ were executed.
Those who were convicted of treason were taken to a top-secret prison called S-21 where the prisoners were rarely given food, and as a result, many people died of starvation. Most prisoners died from the severe physical mutilation that was caused by torture.  Of the estimated 15,000 to 30,000 prisoners, only seven prisoners survived and under the DK control, 500,000 people were killed of whom were against the Khmer Rouge.
 Examples of the Khmer Rouge torture methods can be seen at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. The Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide is a former high school building, which was transformed into a torture, interrogation and execution center between 1976 and 1979.

The Khmer Rouge

The Khmer Rouge was a Communist Party of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia on the 17th of April, in the year 1975. The Khmer Rouge created the state of 'Democratic Kampuchea' in 1976 and ruled the country until around January in the year 1979. The existence of the Khmer Rouge party was kept a secret until the year 1977. No one outside of the Communist Party of Cambodia knew who its leaders were. The leaders called themselves ''Angkar Padevat''. At the time when the Khmer Rouge was in power, they set up policies that disregarded human lives which would've been a violation to the human rights. The Khmer Rouge produced repression and massacres on a huge scale. The Khmer Rouge basically transformed Cambodia into a huge torture center, which later became a graveyard for nearly two million people, even including their own members and even some of their senior leaders.

The Cambodian's communist movement; the Khmer Rouge began from the country's struggle against the French colonization that happened in the 1940s, and was also influenced by the Vietnamese. The movement was fueled by the first Indochina war that happened in the 1950s, the movement was beginning to grow during the next 20 years.


· The Khmer Rouge killed nearly two million Cambodians from 1975 to 1979
· The Khmer Rouge took root in Cambodia's northeastern jungles as early as the 1960s
· The Khmer Rouge presented themselves as a party for peace and succeeded in mobilizing support in the countryside.
· The Khmer Rouge was planning the steps necessary for a radical shift to an agrarian society.

When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia

The Evacuation:
A few days after the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975; the Khmer Rouge forced perhaps two million people in Phnom Penh and other cities into the countryside to undertake agricultural work. Thousands of people died during the evacuations

The four year plan:

During the four year plan, Cambodians were expected to produce three tons of rice per hectare throughout the country. This meant that people had to grow and harvest rice all twelve months of the year. In most regions, the Khmer Rouge forced people to work more than twelve hours a day without rest or adequate food.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pol Pot: A man of genocide

This poster was made to criticized Pol Pot by calling him "a man of genocide". This is a poster of a film called  "The Red Masters 3: Pol Pot- a man of genocide". Therefore, the poster was made recently, not during the period where the Khmer Rouge ruled the country. The poster's aim was to promote awareness about what Pol Pot did to the people of Cambodia, to the people of his own country. The color red represented communism. 

The Killing Fields, S-21

In the years 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge waged a campaign of genocide on Cambodia's population. 1.7 million Cambodians lost their lives to famine and murder as the urban population was forced into the countryside to fulfill the Khmer Rouges' goal of an ''agrarian utopia''. 

A photograph of the killing fields in Cambodia. Killing fields were where the Khmer Rouge executed innocent people and put their corpses. These are the skulls of people who were killed. Most victims had been battered or hacked to death with iron bars, pickaxes, machetes and many other weapons.

Guns were seldom used because ammunition was scarce. Small children and infants were swung against trees to smash their heads before throwing their bodies into the pits


The most infamous was Phnom Penh's S-21 Prison and the Choeung Ek extermination center. At first it was a high school called Tuol Svay High School. But in 1976, the Khmer Rouge took over, renamed the school into Security Prison 21 (S-21) and turned it into a torture, interrogation and execution center.                

About 1,720 workers controlled the prison. Most of the personnel were boys and girls from peasant backgrounds ranging from ten to nineteen years of age who were trained to work as guards and interrogators.
The prisoners included Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai, Indian, Pakistani, British and American nationals, but the majorities were Cambodians. Civilian prisoners were workers, farmers, engineers, technicians, intellectuals, professors, students, politicians, and so on.
Whole families were taken to S-21 to be interrogated, tortured to obtain a ‘confession’, and then sent to the Choeung Ek extermination centre. The average period of imprisonment was from two to four months

Link to the documentary-

S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine is a 2003 documentary film of the S-21 genocide prison in Phnom Penh. This documentary is directed by Rithy Panh. Rithy, himself, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, brought together two former prisoners of the regime with their former captors at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the former Security Prison 21 (S-21) under the Khmer Rouge. This documentary includes interviews with the prisoners and guards of S-21.

Plot: Rithy Panh, Vann Nath, and Chum Mey, three survivors of the Khmer Rouge's Tuol Sleng Prison are reunited to revisit the former prison. They meet their former captors (guards, interrogators, a doctor, and a photographer). Many of the captors were barely teenagers during the time of the Khmer Rouge era from the years 1975 to 1979. The prisoners are now old men, contrasting 
their former captors.