Cambodia’s lost souls

Essays on Human Rights , Law and International Relations

building with tree Photo by James Wheeler on

My recent visit to Phnom Penh in Cambodia and the outlying killing fields at Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre stirred unsettling emotions; emotions not very  different from those that overwhelm me whenever I cast my mind on the historical atrocities of Auschwitz, Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, or ponder the ongoing brutalities in Myanmar, Syria and Gaza. It’s a feeling of deja vu that eludes any rational, sensible explanation;

a sense that millions of men, women and children who have gone before us have died senseless deaths, while millions today in 2020 continue to be detained in ‘re-education camps’ and prisons, tortured and killed at the hands of all powerful State officials, while the International Community remains blase to their plight.

An indifference evinced by State leaders, born out of ‘respect’ for the concept of Sovereign equality of all States ( Art. 2.1, UN Charter), and the…

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