International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Duch’s Apology

The ECCC (in Cambodia) has decided to release a compilation of Duch’s apologies to victims via print, radio, tv and online media.  Here’s a link to the text of the document. The compilation are derived from transcripts of his trials, so this recent news is more about the ECCC’s efforts at victim outreach.

Apologies are often considered a form of symbolic reparations for victims. Apologies also have important value as they provide both knowledge and acknowledge of the crimes. But there is some skepticism about how well this will be received by victims.

If anyone can find news on the reaction of victim communities, or related information, do post it in the comments.


3 responses to “Duch’s Apology

  1. skmonroe707 February 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I found a youtube video that shows Duch reading (and the translation) of his apology at appeal. It was interesting because it interviewed Cambodian Christians about the apology and it seemed like many of them seemed to take it as a Christian duty to accept a person who has apologized. Many of the Cambodians interviewed look positively at the fact that Duch has admitted his guilt.

  2. michaelbasumass February 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    The admission of guilt from a perpetrator is crucial for reparation. Despite the atrocities occurring many years ago, this apology is important to help bring closure to victims. The sincerity of the apology could be put into question for many in Duch’s position, but I think that he does indeed feel remorse. This is further backed up by another article that I found which says that Duch will be testifying against three other former Khmer Rouge. Here is a link to the article:

  3. mbaglane February 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I found this very short article while looking for news on any response by victims. “Victims Not Impressed by Duch’s Remorse”

    The article says a group of Khmer Rouge victims known as the Ksem Ksan Victims Association have spoken out saying that the apologies are insincere and are just an attempt to reduce his punishment. It will be interesting to see i the response by civil society groups like this one perhaps differ from individuals in Cambodia. The article also spoke with two other victims who said they would be following the trial. I think it’s probably pretty safe to say at this point that the apology will not change Duch’s sentence, but it will be really interesting to see as more reactions by the people of Cambodia are made available.

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