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Cambodia marks "Day of Hatred"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 01:42

May 20 - Hundreds of Cambodians gather to remember those who died during the reign of terror of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime. Nathan Frandino reports.

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In front of a glass casing holding skull after skull, Cambodians pay tribute on the "Day of Hatred." Every May 20, Cambodia commemorates the painful past of the reign of terror of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime. They gather for prayer at Chheung Ek -- one of the infamous "killing fields." At least 1.7 million people are estimated to have died there from 1975 to 1979. The ceremonies are meant to sustain awareness to prevent a repeat of such killings. (SOUNDBITE) (Khmer) 54-YEAR-OLD CHAN REUN SAYING: "I am here to pray for the victims and to appeal to all Khmers to unite from now on. We have had enough suffering so we should love each other. We don't want hatred from Pol Pot's regime." On the field itself, actors re-enact the deadly years. Even though most of the Khmer Rouge's leading members are old and in poor health, several senior leaders are still awaiting trial. A U.N.-backed court has already heard witnesses describe prisoners beaten to death in the fields. Survivors of the genocide want a faster tribunal process. (SOUNDBITE) (Khmer) 62-YEAR-OLD VEY DARA SAYING: "I believe the Khmer Rouge crimes court will seek justice for the victims so that they can rest in peace." Nearly a quarter of Cambodia's population died from execution, overwork or torture during the Khmer Rouge's revolution.

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Cambodia marks "Day of Hatred"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 01:42