Survivors' Voices

Far from their native country, few Cambodian Americans have a full understanding of how the ECCC (Khmer Rouge trial) works in Cambodia, and about the possibility to file a complaint (as witness or victim of physical, material psychological injuries) to be addressed to the court.
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From Long Beach, California, Leakhena Nou, a Professor of Sociology at California State University has founded ASRIC, the Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia to educate the Cambodian Americans about the ECCC and bring support in filing complaint. Supported by local community organizations, she organizes weekend workshops to answer questions and encourage people to share their testimonies and stories, as part of what she considers a justice healing process.

After California, and before Massachussets, she was in the Washington DC area at the end of May, welcomed by a local organization of Maryland, “Cambodian Americans for Human Rights” (CARHAD), and with the support of Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University.

At the end of the weekend, Leakhena Nou could add 12 more stories and complaint to be addressed later to the ECCC in Cambodia. A drop of water in the ocean of pain and sufferings that still overwhelms so many Cambodian people in the world. If some have healed and made peace with what they have experienced in the past, an important proportion of people in this community are still really sick of what has happened 30 years ago: lack of confidence, sleep problems, suicidal tendencies, mental pain, permanent angriness, difficulty to trust, silent suffering… Nou’s background in medical sociology and field work observations in Cambodia corroborate the obvious similarity of symptoms between the Cambodians from home with the Cambodians from outside…

Photo essay and text story: Stephane Janin