Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Victim of sexual abuse files complaint to the genocide tribunal

Sou Sotheavy, a Cambodian transgender woman, filed a complaint last week with the ECCC alleging that the Khmer Rouge exposed her to sexual abuse, reports the Herald Tribune. She sais soldiers repeatedly raped her as punishment for "moral offenses", and she was forced to marry a woman and have sexual intercourse to produce a child. Sou Sotheavy, who is now 68 years old, was born male but has been living as a woman since she was a teenager.

The Khmer Rouge imposed strict rules against sexual misconduct. Sou Sotheavy's lawyer, sais she hopes that this case will encourage others who has been subject to sexual abuse during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-79), to come forward and demand acknowledgment and justice. The Herald Tribune reports that these victims suffering has largely been ignored until now, according to the lawyer.

The Herald Tribune reports that the genocide researchers have found many cases of rape and sexual violence committed by Khmer Rouge soldiers, while at the same time the Khmer Rouge banned romance, forced many men and women into mass marriages and tortured or killed those who engaged in unsanctioned sexual relations.

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