Khieu Samphan, A Former Cambodian Communist Politician and Economist​

A photo of Khieu Samphan | Photo: Wikipedia

Khieu Samphan or Comrade Hem was born on July 27th, 1931 in Svay Rieng Province. He was a Khmer-Chinese extraction. He was one of the most powerful officials in the Khmer Rouge.

Mr. Samphan was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for committing the crime against humanity and guilty of genocide during the Khmer Rouge.

Image of Khieu Samphan from Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

In 1955, Khieu Samphan received the scholarship to continue his Ph.D. in Political Economics in France and published his doctoral dissertation “Cambodia’s Economy and Industrial Development”.

Upon his return to Cambodia, he was a professor before being appointed as the Secretary of State of Ministry of Trade in 1962. He also created L’Oserveteur newspaper, whose purposes were to reflect the opinions of intellectuals, teachers, and government who supported the neutral policy of King Norodom Sihanouk. However, it was banned by the government in the following year. Later in 1967, he fled to hide in the jungle due to the threats by the Sihanouk’s security force and he appeared again with the Khmer Rouge resistance in 1970.

In 1976, he was appointed as the Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea. Meanwhile, he also became a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of the Cambodian Central Committee.

According RFI, after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979, Khieu Samphan was the head of Democratic Kampuchea instead of Pol Pot.

He went to live in the north-western province of Pailin until 2007, he was charged with the crime against humanity and violation over the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

Khieu Samphan was accused of:

  • Crime against humanity
  • Genocide
  • Murder
  • Violation over the 1949 Geneva Conventions

Source: Wikipedia | By: Hon SreyNit