|Chairman of the State Presidium of Democratic Kampuchea|
11 April 1976 –7 January 1979
|Prime Minister||Pol Pot|
|Leader||Pol Pot (General Secretary)|
|Preceded by||Norodom Sihanouk|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Prime Minister of Kampuchea|
4 April 1976 –14 April 1976
|Leader||Pol Pot (General Secretary)|
|Preceded by||Penn Nouth|
|Succeeded by||Pol Pot|
|Born||28 July 1931|
Romdoul, Svay Rieng, Cambodia
|Alma mater|| University of Montpellier (B.Ec)|
University of Paris (PhD)
Khieu Samphan (Khmer : ខៀវ សំផន; born 28 July 1931) is a former Cambodian communist politician who was the chairman of the state presidium of Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia) from 1976 until 1979. As such, he served as Cambodia's head of state and was one of the most powerful officials in the Khmer Rouge movement, although Pol Pot remained the General Secretary (highest official) in the party. On 7 August 2014, along with other members of the regime, he was convicted and received a life sentence for crimes against humanity during the Cambodian genocide, and a further trial found him guilty of genocide in 2018. Along with Kang Kek Iew, he is the last surviving senior member of the Khmer Rouge following the death of Nuon Chea in August 2019.
Samphan was born in Svay Rieng Province to Khieu Long, who served as a judge under the French Protectorate government and his wife Por Kong. Samphan was of Khmer-Chinese extraction,having inherited his Chinese heritage from his maternal grandfather. When Samphan was a young boy, Khieu Long was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to imprisonment, leaving Samphan's mother to take up a living selling fruits and vegetables in Kampong Cham Province where he grew up. Nevertheless, Samphan managed to earn a seat at the Lycée Sisowath and was able to travel to France to pursue his university studies in Economics at the University of Montpellier after which he earned a PhD at the University of Paris.
Khieu became a member of the circle of leftist Khmer intellectuals studying in Sorbonne, Paris, in the 1950s. His 1959 doctoral thesis, "Cambodia's Economy and Industrial Development"advocated national self-reliance and generally sided with dependency theorists in blaming the wealthy, industrialized states for the poverty of the Third World. He was one of the founders of the Khmer Students' Association (KSA), out of which would grow the left-wing revolutionary movements that would so alter Cambodian history in the 1970s, most notably the Khmer Rouge. Once the KSA was shuttered by French authorities in 1956, he founded yet another student organization, the Khmer Students' Union.
Returning from Paris with his doctorate in 1959, Khieu held a law faculty position at the University of Phnom Penh and started L'Observateur, a French-language leftist publication that was viewed with hostility by the government. L'Observateur was banned by the government in the following year.and police publicly humiliated Khieu by beating, undressing and photographing him in public. Despite this, Samphan was invited to join Prince Sihanouk's Sangkum, a 'national movement' that operated as the single political party within Cambodia. Samphan stood as a Sangkum deputy in the 1962, 1964 and 1966 elections, in which the lattermost the rightist elements of the party, led by Lon Nol, gained an overwhelming victory; he then became a member of a 'Counter-Government' created by Sihanouk to keep the rightists under control. However, Khieu's radicalism led to a split in the party and he had to flee to a jungle after an arrest warrant was issued against him. At the time, he was even rumoured to have been murdered by Sihanouk's security forces.
In the Cambodian coup of 1970 the National Assembly voted to remove Prince Sihanouk as head of state, and the Khmer Republic was proclaimed later that year. The Khmer Rouge, including Khieu Samphan, joined forces with the now-deposed Prince Sihanouk in establishing an anti-Khmer Republic coalition known as the National United Front of Kampuchea (FUNK), and an associated government: the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea (GRUNK). In this alliance with his former enemies, Samphan served as deputy prime minister, minister of defence, and commander-in-chief of the Cambodian People's National Liberation Armed Forces, the GRUNK military. [ citation needed ]FUNK defeated the Khmer Republic in April 1975 and took control of all of Kampuchea.
During the years of Democratic Kampuchea (1975–1979), Samphan remained near the top of the movement, assuming the post of president of the central presidium in 1976. His faithfulness to Pol Pot meant that he survived the purges in the later years of the Khmer Rouge rule. His roles within the party suggest he was well entrenched in the upper echelons of the CPK, and a leading figure in the ruling elite.
In 1985 he officially succeeded Pol Pot as leader of the Khmer Rouge, and served in this position until 1998.In December 1998 Khieu and former Pol Pot's deputy Nuon Chea surrendered to the Royal Cambodian Government. Prime Minister Hun Sen however defied international pressure and Khieu Samphan was not arrested or prosecuted at the time of his surrender.
On 13 November 2007, 76 year old Samphan reportedly suffered a stroke. This occurred one day after the former Khmer Rouge Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and his wife were arrested for war crimes committed while they were in power.At about the same time, a book by Samphan, Reflection on Cambodian History Up to the Era of Democratic Kampuchea, was published; in the book, he wrote that he had worked for social justice and the defence of national sovereignty, while attributing responsibility for all of the group's policies to Pol Pot.
According to Samphan, under the Khmer Rouge "there was no policy of starving people. Nor was there any direction set out for carrying out mass killings", and "there was always close consideration of the people's well-being." He acknowledged the use of coercion to produce food due to shortages. Samphan also strongly criticized the current government in the book, blaming it for corruption and social ills.
The historian Ben Kiernan stated that Samphan's protestations (such as the fact that he regarded the collectivization of agriculture as a surprise, and his expressions of sympathy for Hu Nim, a fellow member of the CPK hierarchy tortured and killed at Tuol Sleng) betrayed the fundamental "moral cowardice" of a man mesmerized by power but lacking any nerve.
After he left a Phnom Penh hospital where he was treated following his stroke, Samphan was arrestedby the Cambodia Tribunal and charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In April 2008 former Democratic Kampucuchea head of state Khieu Samphan made his first appearance at Cambodia's genocide tribunal. His lawyer, the late Jacques Vergès, used the defence that while Samphan has never denied that many people in Cambodia were killed, as head of state, he was never directly responsible for any crimes.On 7 August 2014, he and Nuon Chea received life sentences for crimes against humanity. His lawyer immediately announced the conviction would be appealed. The tribunal continue with a trial on his genocide charges as a separate process. The tribunal found him guilty of the crime of genocide against the Vietnamese people on 16 November 2018 but he was cleared of involvement in the genocidal extermination of the Cham. The judgment also emphasised that Khieu Samphan “encouraged, incited and legitimised” the criminal policies that lead to the deaths of civilians “on a massive scale” including the millions forced into labour camps to build dams and bridges and the mass extermination of Vietnamese.
The Khmer Rouge was the name popularly given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) and by extension to the regime through which the CPK ruled in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. The name had originally been coined in the 1950s by Norodom Sihanouk as a blanket term for the Cambodian left.
Pol Pot was a Cambodian revolutionary and politician who governed Cambodia as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea between 1976 and 1979. Ideologically a Marxist–Leninist and Khmer nationalist, he was a leading member of Cambodia's communist movement, the Khmer Rouge, from 1963 until 1997 and served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea from 1963 to 1981. Under his administration, Cambodia was converted into a one-party communist state governed according to Pol Pot's interpretation of Marxism-Leninism.
Ta Mok also known as Nguon Kang, was a Cambodian military chief and soldier who was a senior figure in the Khmer Rouge and the leader of the national army of Democratic Kampuchea.. He was best known as "Brother Number Four" or "the Butcher". He was captured along the Thailand-Cambodia border in March 1999 by Cambodian government forces while on the run with a small band of followers and was held in government custody all the way to his death in 2006 while awaiting his war crime trial.
The Khmer Rouge period refers to the rule of Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, Khieu Samphan and the Communist Party of Kampuchea over Cambodia, which the Khmer Rouge renamed Democratic Kampuchea.
Hou Yuon was a veteran of the communist movement in Cambodia. A member of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, also known as the Khmer Rouge, he served in several ministerial posts during the 1960s and 1970s.
Ieng Sary was a co-founder and senior member of the Khmer Rouge. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea led by Pol Pot and served in the 1975–79 government of Democratic Kampuchea as foreign minister and deputy prime minister. He was known as "Brother Number Three" as he was third in command after Pol Pot and Nuon Chea. His wife, Ieng Thirith, served in the Khmer Rouge government as social affairs minister. Ieng Sary was arrested in 2007 and was charged with crimes against humanity but died of heart failure before the case against him could be brought to a verdict.
Islam is the religion of a majority of the Cham and Malay minorities in Cambodia. According to Po Dharma, there were 150,000 to 200,000 Muslims in Cambodia as late as 1975. Persecution under the Khmer Rouge eroded their numbers, however, and by the late 1980s they probably had not regained their former strength. In 2009, the Pew Research Center estimated that 1.6% of the population, or 236,000 people were Muslims. Like other Muslim Cham people, those in Cambodia are Sunni Muslims of the Shafi'i denomination and following the Maturidi doctrine. Po Dharma divides the Muslim Cham in Cambodia into a traditionalist branch and an orthodox branch.
The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where collectively more than a million people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Cambodian Civil War (1970–1975). The mass killings are widely regarded as part of a broad state-sponsored genocide.
The Cambodian–Vietnamese War, known in Vietnam as the Counter-offensive on the Southwestern border, was an armed conflict between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Democratic Kampuchea. The war began with isolated clashes along the land and maritime boundaries of Vietnam and Kampuchea between 1975 and 1978, occasionally involving division-sized military formations. On 25 December 1978, Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of Kampuchea and subsequently occupied the country and removed the government of the Communist Party of Kampuchea from power.
Nuon Chea, also known as Long Bunruot or Rungloet Laodi, was a Cambodian politician who was the chief ideologist of the Khmer Rouge. He also briefly served as acting Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea.
Ieng Thirith was an influential figure in the Khmer Rouge, although she was neither a member of the Khmer Rouge Standing Committee nor of the Central Committee. Ieng Thirith was the wife of Ieng Sary, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Democratic Kampuchea's Khmer Rouge regime. She served as Minister of Social Affairs from October 1975 until the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979.
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, commonly known as the Cambodia Tribunal or Khmer Rouge Tribunal (សាលាក្ដីខ្មែរក្រហម), is a court established to try the most senior responsible members of the Khmer Rouge for alleged violations of international law and serious crimes perpetrated during the Cambodian genocide. Although it is a national court, it was established as part of an agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations, and its members include both local and foreign judges. It is considered a hybrid court, as the ECCC was created by the government in conjunction with the UN, but remains independent of them, with trials held in Cambodia using Cambodian and international staff. The Cambodian court invites international participation in order to apply international standards.
The People's Revolutionary Tribunal was a tribunal established by the People's Republic of Kampuchea in 1979 to try the Khmer Rouge leaders Pol Pot and Ieng Sary in absentia for genocide.
The Khmer United National Front was an organisation formed by the deposed King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk in 1970 while he was in exile in Beijing.
The Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea was a government-in-exile of Cambodia, based in Beijing, that was in existence between 1970 and 1976, and was briefly in control of the country starting in 1975.
Stuart Robert Glass was a Canadian adventurer and yachtsman killed by the Khmer Rouge in August 1978 while sailing a little yacht named "Foxy Lady" through Cambodian waters. One of nine "Western" yachtsmen known to have been seized by the Democratic Kampuchean regime, between April and November 1978. He was the sole Canadian victim of the 1975–79 Cambodian genocide.
The Communist Party of Kampuchea, also known as the Khmer Communist Party, was a communist party in Cambodia. Its leader was Pol Pot and its followers were generally known as Khmer Rouge. The party was underground for most of its existence and took power in the country in 1975 and established the state known as Democratic Kampuchea. The party lost power in 1979 with the establishment of the People's Republic of Kampuchea by leftists who were dissatisfied by the Pol Pot regime and by the intervention of Vietnamese military forces after a period of mass killing. The party was officially dissolved in 1981, with the Party of Democratic Kampuchea claiming its legacy.
The Cambodian genocide was carried out by Khmer Rouge under the leadership of Pol Pot, who radically pushed Cambodia towards communism. The movement resulted in the deaths of approximately 1.5 to 2 million people from 1975 to 1979, nearly a quarter of Cambodia's 1975 population.
The following lists events that happened during 1976 in Cambodia.
The following lists events that happened during 2011 in Cambodia.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Khieu Samphan .|
| Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea |
as Head of State
| Chairman of the State Presidium of Democratic Kampuchea |
as Chair of the Revolutionary Council
| Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea |
| Foreign Minister of Democratic Kampuchea |
|Party political offices|
| General Secretary of the Party of Democratic Kampuchea |
None, party dissolved