9 districts in Oddar Meancheay, Battambang and Pailin, all located in former Khmer Rouge strongholds, were visited by representatives from the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges and the Public Affairs Section between 12 and 22 November 2014.
In close co-operation with the respective District Governors, the ECCC organized nine public forums in Anlong Veng, Trapeang Prasat, Banteay Ampil, Samlaut, Pailin, Sala Krau, Sampov Lun, Phnim Proek and Kamrieng. Each forum was attended by an average of 300 people who came to learn more about the ongoing court proceedings.
District Governor Yim Phanna welcomed international Co-Investigating Judge Mark Harmon to Anlong Veng on 12 November 2014.
The forums provided an opportunity for representatives from the Public Affairs Section to educate the attendees about the ongoing ECCC proceedings, with special emphasis on Cases 003 and 004. The educational tour kicked off in Anlong Veng on 12 November, where international Co-Investigating Judge Mark Harmon provided updated information about the work of his office to more than 200 attendants.
One of the most important aspects of these forums, is that they serve as an avenue for the ECCC to enter into dialog with the participants. Participants at each forum were given ample time to raise questions or make comments to the representatives from the ECCC.
A forum participant in Trapeang Prasat ask a question to Judge Mark Harmon during a public forum on 12 November 2014.
International Co-Investigating Judge Mark Harmon together with the District Governor of Banteay Ampil.
Forum participants in Banteay Ampil.
While many of the participants expressed their support for Cases 001 and 002, the enthusiasm was less for Cases 003 and 004, around which he majority of the questions and comments centered. Why are these cases necessary, wouldn’t it be better to spend the money on development and what are the benefit of having these cases going forward were among many of the questions raised.
Forum participants in Samlaut.