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Verdicts on Khmer Rouge Leaders Likely Tribunal’s Last

The tribunal judging the criminal responsibility of former Khmer Rouge leaders for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians will issue verdicts Friday in the latest — and perhaps last — of such trials.

Nuon Chea, 92, and Khieu Samphan, 87, are the last two surviving senior leaders of the radical communist group that brutally ruled Cambodia in the late 1970s.

They are already serving life sentences after being convicted in a previous 2011-2014 trial of crimes against humanity connected with forced transfers and disappearances of masses of people.

The proceedings against them were split into two successive trials for fear that the aging defendants might die before any verdict was reached in a single, more comprehensive trial and foreclose the opportunity for any sort of justice. The fear was justified: Two co-defendants died before the trial was completed.

The charges

On Friday, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan will be judged on additional charges of crimes against humanity, such as murder, extermination, enslavement, torture and persecution on political, racial, and religious grounds; genocide, for the killings of members of the Vietnamese and Cham ethnic groups; and more breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment.

As members of the Khmer Rouge leadership under the late Pol Pot, they have been prosecuted under the legal doctrine of joint criminal enterprise, which holds individuals responsible for actions attributed to a group to which they belong.

Cases launched against four additional, middle-ranking Khmer Rouge officials have been scuttled or frozen and are unlikely to be revived.

If the current trial is the last staged by the U.N.-assisted international tribunal, officially called the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, it will have convicted three individuals at a cost of more than $300 million.

Hun Sen: No more trials

The Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975 after a bloody five-year civil war. They immediately attempted a radical transformation of Cambodia into a peasant society, emptying cities and forcing the population to work the land.

They backed up their rule with ruthless elimination of perceived enemies, and were driven from power in early 1979 by an invasion from neighboring Vietnam, which had suffered border attacks from Khmer Rouge forces.

Although atrocities were carried out on a massive scale, political realities — specifically the repeated demands by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that no more suspects be prosecuted — appear to preclude further cases being pursued by the tribunal. Hun Sen insists that further prosecutions could cause unrest.

In addition to Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, the tribunal can lay claim to only one other prosecution, resulting in the 2010 conviction of Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, who as head of the Khmer Rouge prison system ran the infamous Tuol Sleng torture center in Phnom Penh.

Hun Sen himself was a midlevel Khmer Rouge commander before defecting while the group was still in power, and several senior members of his ruling Cambodian People’s Party share similar backgrounds. He helped cement his political control by making alliances with other former Khmer Rouge commanders.

The ground rules under which the tribunal was established in 2005 are complicated, providing for hybrid courts pairing Cambodian judges and prosecutors with international counterparts.

Cambodian court officials, known for their loyalty to Hun Sen’s government, are in a position to base their judgments on the tribunal’s inexact guidelines limiting prosecutions to senior leaders or persons considered “most responsible” for atrocities, or simply cease cooperation.

Brother Number Two’

Although Nuon Chea had an especially low profile in the already secretive group, his importance can be gauged by his nom de guerre of “Brother Number Two,” reflecting his position as Pol Pot’s right-hand man.

According to a 2001 study by Cambodia scholar Stephen Heder and legal expert Brian D. Tittemore, there was “substantial and compelling evidence” that Nuon Chea devised and implemented the Khmer Rouge’s execution policies.

Khieu Samphan had at one point been the smiling, polite figurehead who nominally was the head of state in the Khmer Rouge regime. He was able to trade on his reputation as an honest left-wing academic and lawmaker in 1960s Cambodia before repression drove him underground and into the jungle with the then-nascent Khmer Rouge movement. The Heder and Tittemore study acknowledged that evidence against Khieu Samphan was not as extensive as against Nuon Chea and others, but nevertheless suggested he “encouraged lower level (Khmer Rouge) officials to perpetrate executions and, at least in some instances, monitored and contributed to the implementation of Party policies by regional authorities.” Heder, who for a time was an investigator for the tribunal, charged in a 1990 paper that Khieu Samphan was promoted up the ranks of the Khmer Rouge “because he remained steadfastly loyal to his leadership and policies while others who had earlier cooperated with Pol Pot and his Communist Party were detained or killed because they disagreed with or were suspected of disagreeing with what Pol Pot was doing.”

“Khieu Samphan’s political star rose literally on heaps of corpses,” Heder wrote.

Little remorse

Confronted in court with such charges, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan showed little remorse. Khieu Samphan denied knowing about matters including forced marriages and violent oppression of minorities, and both men mounted political defenses.

Khieu Samphan described the claim of genocide as “Vietnamese propaganda,” a defense he and other former Khmer Rouge leaders have made previously.

Cambodians have long been suspicious of Vietnam, their much bigger eastern neighbor, and prejudice against Vietnamese is widespread.

Khieu Samphan also cast blame on the United States for Cambodia’s problems. The U.S. heavily bombed the Cambodian countryside during the 1970-75 civil war that led to the Khmer Rouge’s seizure of power.

“I want to bow to the memory of all the innocent victims but also to all those who perished by believing in a better ideal of the brighter future and who died during the five-year war under the American bombardments and (in) the conflict with the Vietnamese invaders,” Khieu Samphan said. “Their memory will never be honored by any international tribunal.”(Source: VOA NEWS)

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India News Brief

 1 June, 2020

India Records Highest Single Day Increase of 8,392 Cases

India's COVID-19 Figure Reaches 1,91,041 Death Toll: 5,413

India's Most Affected States:

Maharashtra: Total Positive Cases:67,655 Total Deaths: 2,286

Gujarat: Total Positive Cases: 16,794 Total Deaths: 1,038

Madhya Pradesh: Total Positive Cases: 8,089 Total Deaths: 350

West Bengal: Total Positive Cases: 5,501 Total Deaths: 317

Delhi: Total Positive Cases: 19,844  Total Deaths: 473

Rajasthan: Total Positive Cases: 8,980 Total Deaths: 194

Uttar Pradesh: Total Positive  Cases: 7,823 Total Deaths: 213

Tamil Nadu : Total Positive Cases: 22,333 Total Deaths: 173

Andhra Pradesh: Total Positive Cases: 3,679 Total Deaths: 62

Telengana: Total Positive Cases: 2,698 Total Deaths: 82 

Karnataka: Total Positive Cases: 3,221 Total Deaths: 51

Punjab: Total Positive Cases: 2,263 Total Deaths: 45

Jammu and Kashmir: 2,446 Total Deaths: 28

Lockdown extends till June 30

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed.

  • Places of worship, hotels will open from June 8 with specific guidelines.

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

COVID-19: Delhi Death Toll Rises to 82 in Last 24 Hours

Probable Guidelines for Lockdown 5.0.

More travel routes are likely to open in Lockdown 5.0.

From June 1, the Railways will operate 100 pairs of mail or express trains, bookings have already begun. Then AC class services will resume.

Some states have already begun intra-state buses. Other states may  begin intra-tate bus services after June 1.Metro  services may begin in a limited manner, with lesser passenger capacity, social distancing norms and longer stops at each station.

Shops selling non-essential items were allowed to open during Lockdown 4.0.. More shops may open in Lockdown 5.0 even in markets.But no confirmed news regarding opening of shopping malls.Now many shops that have re-opened in market areas are operating on an odd-even basis.

Some cities have already allowed salons and beauty parlours to open with strict social distancing guidelines and wearing protective gear is a must.In containment areas the same rule may prevail in Lockdown 5.0.

The Human Resource Development Ministry of India will soon announce the guidelines of   schools reopening.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

 

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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