Cambodian Genocide Program releases key data

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Cambodian Genocide Program releases key data

The Cambodian Genocide Program (CGP) at Yale University has released information on the internet today that details atrocities committed under the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. Approximately 1.7 million Cambodians are believed to have perished under that regime, headed by Pol Pot.

The new World Wide Web site, http://www.yale.edu/cgp, is the product of two years of intensive work funded by grants from the US State Department, the Australian government and several private foundations.

The Henry Luce Foundation has made a grant of $250,000 for further research at Yale. The Dutch government has agreed to provide $160,000 for training and related program activities in Cambodia. And the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies has donated $10,000 for computerised mapping of mass graves of victims of the genocide.

"The information we are releasing on the internet represents the most comprehensive collection of data ever assembled on Khmer Rouge violations of human rights, and includes a large amount of previously unknown material", said Ben Kiernan, director of the CGP.

The WWW site was developed in collaboration with a team led by Dr Helen Jarvis at the School of Information, Library and Archive Studies at the University of New South Wales.

The site's data bases are organised into five sections: an annotated bibliography of all documents, books, and articles currently available on the Khmer Rouge regime; biographical information on approximately 5000 Khmer Rouge leaders, much of it from primary sources; photos taken by the Khmer Rouge of more than 5000 prisoners whom they subsequently executed; geographical information, including a series of hyperlinked maps, tables, and other images locating mass graves, Khmer Rouge prisons, execution sites and memorials; a bulletin board, containing a collection of photos, a complete listing of the Khmer Rouge central prison staff, and translated excerpts from a secret record of the Khmer Rouge Foreign Ministry.

The CGP has held two 10-week courses for Cambodian lawyers and human rights activists on how to organise investigations for a human rights tribunal or truth commission.

In 1995 the CGP established the Documentation Centre of Cambodia in Phnom Penh to facilitate field operations and train Cambodians in research and investigative techniques. Now the Documentation Centre has become an independent research institute for the study of the Khmer Rouge genocide, with a large archive of original documents.