Cambodia’s ethnic minorities constituted 15 percent of the population in pre-Khmer Rouge era. Of the 400,000 Vietnamese who lived in Cambodia before 1975, some 320,000 were expelled by the previous Lon Nol regime. When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge came to power, there remained about 100,000 Vietnamese in the country. Almost all of them were repatriated by December 1975. Some argue that the Khmer Rouge had no intent to cause serious mental and physical harm to the Vietnamese during the sun repatriation process.
The Chinese community (about 425,000 people in 1975) was reduced to 200,000 during the next four years. In the Khmer Rouge’s Standing Committee, four members were of Chinese ancestry, two Vietnamese, and two Khmers. Some observers argue that this mixed composition makes it difficult to argue that there was an intent to kill off minorities.[who?]
Democratic Kampuchea experienced serious hardships due to the effects of war and disrupted economic activity. According to Michael Vickery, 740,800 people in Cambodia in a population of about 7 million died due to disease, overwork, and political repression. Other estimates suggest approximately 1.7 million and it is described by the Yale University Cambodian Genocide Program as “one of the worst human tragedies of the last century.” Researcher Craig Etcheson of the Documentation Center of Cambodia suggests that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a “most likely” figure of 2.2 million. After 5 years of researching some 20,000 grave sites, he concludes that “these mass graves contain the remains of 1,112,829 victims of execution.” Pol Pot is sometimes described as “the Hitler of Cambodia” and “a genocidal tyrant”. Martin Shaw described the Cambodian genocide as “the purest genocide of the Cold War era”.
Vietnam, with the backing of the Soviet Union, invaded Cambodia and removed Pol Pot from power in 1979. U.S. analyst Lawrence LeBlanc has suggested that the United States bowed to Chinese and ASEAN interests and voted for a UN seat for the Pol Pot regime. However, the USA claimed that the issue of seating a delegation was purely technical and legal, and that US support of seating the Pol Pot regime did not imply its approval of the regime’s policies, although key Jimmy Carter aide Zbigniew Brzezinski has admitted that the U.S. encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot, remarking in 1979 that “I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot… Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him but China could.”
In 1997 the Cambodian Government asked for the United Nations’ assistance in setting up a genocide tribunal. It took nine years to agree the shape and structure of the court — a hybrid of Cambodia and international laws — before in 2006 the judges were sworn in. The investigating judges were presented with the names of five possible suspects by the prosecution on 18 July 2007. On 19 September 2007 Nuon Chea, second in command of the Khmer Rouge and its most senior surviving member, was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. He will face Cambodian and foreign judges at the special genocide tribunal.
(sumber : Wikipedia)