Cambodia at War; Human Rights Watch Arms Project

New York, N.Y. Human Rights Watch, 1995. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Trade paperback. 166, [2] pages. Includes Preface; Table of Political Parties and Acronyms; Summary; Background; Human Rights Abuses by the Khmer Rouge; Abuses by Government Forces; Means of Imposing Accountability for Gross Abuses; The Law Against the Khmer Rouge; Mining and Demeaning; Foreign Support for the Khmer Rouge; Foreign Support for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces; and Conclusions and Recommendations. Also includes Appendix 1: International Human Rights Law and the Laws of War Applicable to the Warring Parties; Appendix II: The Law Against the Khmer Rouge; Appendix III: Statements by Human Rights Watch/Asia on Draft Laws. Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, and the group often works on behalf of refugees, children, migrants, and political prisoners.
Human Rights Watch in 1997 shared in the Nobel Peace Prize as a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and it played a leading role in the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions. Asia Watch (1985), Africa Watch (1988), and Middle East Watch (1989) were added to what was known as "The Watch Committees". In 1988, all of these committees were united under one umbrella to form Human Rights Watch. This report, based on three missions to Cambodia between March 1994 and February 1995, documents cases of murder, rape, hostage-taking, and the use of famine as a weapon by the Khmer Rouge in their new "scorched earth" tactics. On the government side, the report examines severe abuses by government soldiers against civilians, including secret detention, extortion, and murder of dozens of people by military intelligence, and the failure of the Cambodian government in most cases to prosecute its own officials responsible for abuses. The report also documents how the Cambodian government has begun to retaliate against institutions and individuals that have been critical of those abuses, such as the press, the lively domestic human rights community, and independent and critical parliamentarians.

From the summary: Although the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cambodia has been hailed as one of the most successful ever, Cambodia was back at war even before the last of the peacekeepers had left. The U.N.-sponsored May 1993 elections did manage to bring the former non-communist resistance armies into a single unified force with the Phnom Penh military against the Khmer Rouge, but the elections did not stop the fighting, nor did they fundamentally change Cambodia’s political structure. New landmines are planted daily, tens of thousands are fleeing their homes, and the civilian population is suffering abuses from both sides. Due to the weakness of basic political and legal institutions, those in power often can and do act with impunity. While Cambodia is developing some social institutions that can check human rights abuses, such as an independent press, a lively domestic human rights community, and a body of independent and critical parliamentarians, these features are under threat as the political situation deteriorates.

The Khmer Rouge continues to be a major human rights violator. Having sat out the elections and failed to win a place in the coalition government through either diplomacy or battle, the Khmer Rouge intensified its efforts to sever the northwest part of the country from Phnom Penh. To its history of presiding over the deaths of one million Cambodians between 1975 and 1978, it added a fresh record of abuse, including extrajudicial executions, abductions of villagers for ransom or forced labor, and the racially motivated slaughter of ethnic Vietnamese. Diplomatically isolated and threatened by defections, the guerrillas adopted new tactics during the 1994-1995 dry season, including the murder of civilians, the systematic destruction of civilian homes and rice fields, looting, rape and the kidnapping and murder of Westerners.

The Royal Government, for its part, has also been responsible for serious violations of humanitarian and human rights law. Its soldiers have engaged in murder and rape, and military intelligence officers in particular have operated, and may still be operating, secret detention centers where torture and executions have taken place. Military officers appear to hold ultimate authority over civilian residents, and efforts by civilian authorities to assert control over military abuses have met with stiff resistance. Soldiers have also been responsible for widespread looting and extortion.
Condition: Very good.

Keywords: Cambodia, Human Rights Watch, Khmer Rouge, Torture, Detention, Land Mines, Refugees, Conscription, Executions, Prisoners, Ethnic Violence, Kidnapping, NGO

ISBN: 1564321509

[Book #79992]

Price: $100.00

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