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Cambodia more than 30 years after the Khmer Rouge
After having visited Cambodia in August 1978 under the rule of the Khmer Rouge I had a good reason to return to this beautiful but stricken country. In November 2008 I was invited to show my old photos from 1978 with new comments and to come back with a new message. Since then the trial against some of the leaders has started and the head of the Tuol Sleng tortutre center has been sentenced to life in prison.
This webiste is all bout what happened and what is happening in Cambodia today. For me, everything started with myself and others supporting the Khmer Rouge in the 70-ies and defended them. Part of this website is about how that could be possible.

Gunnar Bergström
Cambodia August 1978
In August 1978 I belonged to a group from the Swedish friendship association with Cambodia - at that time called Kampuchea. This group made a visit to Cambodia. The country was at that time run by the ultra maoist Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot. . All private property was abolished, the cities emptied, money abolished and all religion was forbidden. At that time, I and many others, saw the revolution as something positive. I came home from this trip and praised the revolution. This was abominable. That is why I went back in 2008 - among other things to tell the victims how sorry I am for this. On this website you can follow both trips and thoughts from them and thoughts today.
Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan sentenced to life imprisonment
(Nuon Chea died August 4 2019)
The verdict, announced on August 7, is quoted here (the text is abbreviated, the full verdict can be found here: Verdict )

"Both Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan participated in a joint criminal enterprise to achieve the common purpose of implementing a rapid socialist revolution through a ‘great leap forward’ by whatever means necessary. As a result, during the first phase of the movement of the population at least two million people were forcibly transferred from Phnom Penh in April 1975 by Khmer Rouge soldiers under false pretexts and threats, often at gunpoint, with almost no prior warning and in terrifying and violent circumstances. At the time of its expulsion, the population of Phnom Penh was severely weakened by the experience of a long siege characterised by food shortages. In this weakened condition, the population was forced to march to rural areas during the hottest time of the year and without adequate food, water, medical care, accommodation or transportation. Without exception, the entire population of Phnom Penh was evacuated, including monks, the old and the young, the sick and injured from the city’s hospitals, pregnant women and those who had recently given birth. There were numerous instances of Khmer Rouge soldiers shooting and killing civilians during the course of the evacuation, while many others died of exhaustion, malnutrition or disease.
During the second phase of the movement of the population, between September 1975 and December 1977, at least 330,000 to 430,000 people were forcibly displaced from various locations throughout Cambodia. Most people were ordered to leave their locations and transferred under armed guard. Those who refused transfer or attempted escape were arrested, detained or transferred in a further round of movements.  People were transported by different means, including truck, boat, ox cart and on foot. People were constantly monitored, had no water and insufficient food, and were not allowed to carry any belongings. Those transported by truck were guarded by armed Khmer Rouge soldiers, who shot at those who tried to escape. Due to exhaustion, starvation or illness, some people died.
The Trial Chamber also found that Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan implemented the common purpose through a policy to target former Khmer Republic officials. As a result of this policy at least 250 Lon Nol officials who had been transported from Pursat to Tuol Po Chrey were executed iThe Trial Chamber found a number of aggravating circumstances had been established (Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were well-educated and knew the import and consequences of their actions; the crimes were committed in abuse of their positions of authority and influence; and many victims were vulnerable and defenceless), with limited mitigating circumstances."

English Navigation

Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge

Back after 30 years

Cambodia 1978 - a journey with blinders on

Tuol Sleng and the Killing fields

The Trial against the Khmer Rouge

The History

Cambodia November 2008 (Swedish captions)

Book Living Hell



Follow the trial

Nuon Chea och Khieu Samphan sentenced to life imprisonment

The two remaning leaders of the Khmer Rouge that are being prosecuted for crimes against humanity were sentenced in auguist 2014 to life imprisonment

The trial continues with part II. Read more:

Nuon Chea deceased.

Nuon Chea, who was number 2 in the Khmer Rouge hiearchy, died at the age of 93, in a Phnom Penh hospital.

Nuon Chea was, of the accused Khmer Rouge leaders, the one who was most adamant in defending the policies of the Khmer Rouge instead of denying the killings.
At the trial he said:

“If we had shown mercy to these people, our nation would have been lost.”
“We didn’t kill many. We only killed the bad people, not the good.”

Ieng Sary deceased.

One of the accused leaders from the old Khmer Rouge leadership, Ieng Sary, died in hospital in Pnom Penh Marrch 14. Ieng Sary was the Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister. He denied responsibility for the crimes he was accused of. Ieng Sary died 87 years old.


Ieng Tirith released - considered to suffer from Alzheimer or other dementia. She died in 2015.
In mid september the only woman in the group off accused Khmer Rouge leaders was released. Ieng Tirith was social minister and married to foreign minister Ieng Sary, also accused. Several doctors considered here unfit to follow the trial.

Opinions? Questons? Whatever you want I´d like to hear from you

Gunnar Bergström
Tvärvägen 10, S186 39 Vallentuna
Tel +468 51443700, +46706372956
Fax: +46851430040