Execution, starvation, cannibalism, torturing, disease, malnutrition are only a few violations of human rights being made by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and parts of Vietnam. A few journalists who have conducted interviews with refugees believe that out of a population of seven million, 1.2 million have died in the last two years alone. In addition, a Catholic missionary, Andre Gelinas, told of “15,000 to 20,000 suicides.”
Reports also indicate that the Khmer Rouge are treating the people like slaves and imposing exacting rules. Failure to observe these rules leads to immediate execution. Anyone who dares to complain is punished. Rule breaking and complaining apply to such “crimes” as asking for more food, falling in exhaustion, and not meeting Khmer Rouge’s inhuman values.
These so-called “transgressors” are usually clubbed to death with objects such as pick handles. And when a starving worker is caught cannibalizing, he is tortured to death. Such tortures included being buried in the ground up to the shoulders and being beaten to death — or impaling their heads onto pointed stakes.
In January, conferences on the subject were held, to which all three major networks were invited by the American Security Council; not one sent a correspondent. Coverage that does exist is sparse and difficult to find. This may be the most important human rights story of the decade: It is a stark cruel story of mass slaughter which has been ignored by the mass media, and therefore qualifies for a nomination as one of the “ten best censored stories of 1977.”
SOURCES: National Review, “The Nation as a Concentration Camp,” September 2, 1977, p: 988.
Newsweek, “A New Indochina War,” January 16, 1978, p. 47, by Kenneth Labich, with Holger Jansen in Bangkok, Lars-Erik Nelson in Washington, and bureau reports.
The Progressive, “Vietnam: A New Numbers Game,” by Robert K. Musih, September, 1977, p. 32.
National Review, “The New Vietnam,” April 29, 1977, p. 487.
T. V. Guide, “Why Do Networks Play Down News From Cambodia?,” by Patrick Buchanan, March 18-24, 1978.