The Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979

On 17 April 1975 Khmer Rouge forces took over Cambodia. They forcibly evacuated the nation’s cities, emptied hospitals and Buddhist monasteries, closed schools and factories, abolished money and wages, and scattered libraries.

Freedom of the press, movement, worship, organisation, association, and discussion all disappeared for nearly four years. So did family life.

Cambodians were forced to take their meals in collective mess halls. Parents ate in sittings; if they were lucky, their sons and daughters waited their turn outside.

During the years 1975 to 1979, Democratic Kampuchea (DK) was a prison camp state. Its 8 million prisoners served most of their time in solitary confinement. 1.7 million inmates were worked, starved, or beaten to death.

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Children at work during Democratic Kampuchea
Democratic Kampuchea leaders and members of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the CPK