Under Democratic Kampuchea (DK), everyone was deprived of their basic rights. People were not allowed to go outside their cooperative and the regime would not allow anyone to gather and hold discussions. The traditional family structures were dismantled, and showing emotions was prohibited. Approximately between 1.8 to 2 million people died due to the harsh living conditions or were executed. Those especially targeted by the regime included intellectuals, city residents, minority people such as the Cham and many of their own soldiers and party members, who were accused of being traitors. The genocide ended and was disclosed to the world after the fall of the regime in 1979 following the military intervention of Vietnam.
Since 2007, the EU together with the government of Cambodia and the international community is supporting the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Khmer Rouge Tribunal). The ECCC has provided a measure of accountability for the crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge. It has given both victims and perpetrators a chance to hear, put on record their testimony and seek justice to the victims. The EU support also fosters the country's current reconciliation process and help healing traumas suffered by the Cambodian population under the Khmer Rouge regime.
"The new generation of Cambodia is entitled to know about the difficult past their ancestors have encountered. I am happy this application was developed and now up and running to make us understand about our history" - stated by Mr. Dim Sovannarom, Public Affairs of ECCC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
"Khmer Rouge ideology did not mention about killing. Why Khmer Rouge killed innocent people?" says a student from Phnom Penh University.