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Khmer Rouge tribunal staff renew walkout threat over pay

Published on Aug 23, 2013 3:12 PM

PHNOM PENH (REUTERS) - Cambodian staff at a Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal renewed threats to go on strike amid a deepening funding crisis at a court already bogged down by resignations and the ill health of its elderly defendants.

Some 250 Cambodians have not been paid since June and July at the UN-backed court and around 100 staff planned to strike on Sept. 1, caught up in a standoff between donors and a government criticised for its lack of support for hearings into one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century.

The funding dispute puts the spotlight on the commitment of the government, which has been accused of interfering behind the scenes to put the brakes on the court and limit the scope of investigations that could implicate powerful political figures.

Between 1.7 million and 2.2 million people, almost a quarter of Cambodia's population, died between 1975 and 1979 under the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge, many of them from overwork and torture.

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