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Our principal findings are summarized as follows:

  • While justice is important for the population, its priorities were jobs and services to meet basic needs, including health and food as well as improvements in the country’s infrastructure, such as electricity, roads, and building of schools. A majority of Cambodians would rather focus on problems that Cambodians face in their daily lives than address crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime (83% in 2010 compared to 76% in 2008), or would rather spend money on something other than the ECCC (63% in 2010 compared to 53% in 2008).
  • Since 2008, both awareness of and knowledge about the ECCC have increased. In 2010, the percentage of the population claiming no knowledge of the ECCC decreased among those who lived under the Khmer Rouge regime (22% in 2010 compared to 34% in 2008) and those who did not live under the Khmer Rouge regime (33% in 2010 compared to 50% in 2008). In addition, 67% of people (compared to 53% in 2008) could adequately describe the Court as a hybrid court comprising national and international judges and staff. Eleven percent could correctly identify how many people had been arrested (compared to 10% in 2008), and 11% could also correctly name the individuals who had been arrested (compared to 3% in 2008). In 2010, the gap in knowledge was significantly larger among those who did not live under the Khmer Rouge regime (only 3% correctly identified the individuals that have been arrested and are to stand trial) compared to those who lived under the regime (14%). Despite improvement in the knowledge indicators, 38% stated that they felt little informed and 39% stated they felt moderately informed, indicating that more information about the Court may be needed.
  • In 2010, the media remained an important vehicle for information. Of those who had heard about the ECCC at least occasionally, the main sources of information were television (72% in 2010 compared to 44% in 2008) and radio (73% in 2010 compared to 80% in 2008). Forty-seven percent of the respondents reported having seen TV programs about the ECCC, and among those, about one out of two (46%) said they had specifically seen “Duch on Trial.” Finally, in 2010, 1% of the respondents reported that an organization had contacted them to participate in the ECCC proceedings (compared to none in 2008) and 1% indicated that they had participated in the proceedings, mainly by attending hearings or visiting the Court. None of the respondents had applied to become a Civil Party or filed a complaint.
  • Over the last two years prior to the survey, attitudes toward the ECCC remained positive and had become more favorable on certain indicators. A vast majority of respondents believed the Court would respond to the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge (84%); help rebuild trust in Cambodia (82%); help promote national reconciliation (81%); and bring justice to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime (76%). Seventy-five percent believed the Court to be neutral. Among those who did not believe the Court to be neutral, the lack of neutrality was generally associated with the Cambodian government (31%) and/or the fact that judges are working for the government (23%). Compared to 2008, the 2010 results show more than a 10% increase in the number of people who believed the Court would help rebuild trust in Cambodia and promote national reconciliation, and an 8% increase in the number of people who believed the Court is neutral.
  • In 2010, respondents still had high expectations of the ECCC. Over three-quarters of respondents (compared to 68% in 2008) believed the ECCC would have a positive effect on the victims of the Khmer Rouge and/or their families. The nature of the expected positive impact, however, has changed in the last two years. Respondents still considered the positive impact of the ECCC to be punishing those responsible for past crimes through jail sentences (32% comparable to 37% in 2008) but increasingly mentioned the idea of bringing justice to the victims (37% compared to 2% in 2008) and its potential impact on mental health with 25% of the respondents indicating that the trials at the ECCC could help victims feel better, have less anger, or help relieve the pain and suffering endured during the Khmer Rouge period. In 2010, the respondents’ definition of justice was mostly associated with being “fair” (71%), knowing who is right and who is wrong (25%), and applying the law (24%).
  • While the potential impact of the Court was viewed as largely positive, 9% indicated that the Court would have a negative impact, and 16% were unsure. Among those who mentioned a negative impact, about one-quarter (24%) stated that the trial would remind victims too much of their past. Others linked it to the outcome of the Duch trial, mentioning that the Duch sentence was too short (15%) and that the trial did not bring justice to the victims (15%).
  • Among all respondents, 54% knew that Duch was on trial. About one in ten respondents was able to state accurately for how many years the Trial Chamber had sentenced Duch to prison (12%) and was able to state accurately how many years he will spend in prison (11%). After being informed that Duch would probably spend 18 to 19 years in prison according to the current verdict, about 46% responded that Duch should spend more time in prison, 39% said the current time was adequate, and 10% thought that Duch should spend less time. At the time of the survey, 91% of people did not know that the verdict was being appealed. Respondents’ overall perception of Duch’s Trial was positive, although some data suggest that they were not pleased with aspects of the trial. Most people agreed with the statement that “the Duch Trial was conducted fairly” and that the “Court was right to find Duch guilty for what he did at S21” [Tuol Sleng] (69% and 77%, respectively). But a strong sentiment also emerged that “the Court gave too much time to Duch to explain himself,” and that the “victims did not have enough time to tell their story” (50% and 56%, respectively).
  • Responses to several questions suggest that since the Duch trial began, trust in the justice sector has increased, but belief that the judicial system is corrupt has increased as well. Compared to 2008, a higher proportion of 2010 respondents believed that justice in Cambodia is the same for everyone (61% vs. 44%), that Cambodian judges treat everyone equally (56% vs. 40%), and trusted the Cambodian justice system overall (52% vs. 36%). However, at the same time, a higher proportion believed that Cambodian officials who commit crimes go unpunished (40% vs. 35%), that going to court means paying a bribe (68% vs. 61%), and that going to court is too expensive (86% vs. 82%). When asked about the direct impact of the Duch trial on their trust in the law, a majority of respondents (72%) said the trial had increased their trust, while only 6% reported a decrease in trust.
  • The respondents’ recommendations to the ECCC were most frequently to speed up the trial, be fair, and to punish the accused.
  • Support for truth-seeking was still strong and in fact was increasing, with a majority of respondents wanting to know more about what happened during the Khmer Rouge regime. On the other hand, since the 2008 survey, knowledge of the Khmer Rouge period has not changed. Four out of five respondents (80% compared to 81% in 2008) among those who had not lived under the Khmer Rouge regime and over one-third among those who lived under the regime (36% compared to 37% in 2008) stated that their knowledge of the Khmer Rouge regime was poor or very poor. Nevertheless, a little over half of the respondents (57%) mentioned knowing more about what happened under the Khmer Rouge regime after the Duch trial, indicating that despite a perceived increase in knowledge, respondents still considered their knowledge of the regime as inadequate.
  • Since 2008, feelings of animosity and a desire for revenge toward the Khmer Rouge have decreased only very slightly, with a majority continuing to report feelings of hatred (81% compared to 83% in 2008), and desire to see those responsible suffer (68% compared to 72%). The proportion of respondents who said they forgave the Khmer Rouge top leaders remained unchanged (36%); however, slightly more (around half) indicated having forgiven Duch after the trial. Only a minority (41%) of the respondents stated they were ready to reconcile with Duch or members of Khmer Rouge who were responsible for atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.
  • When asked what should be done for victims, the population indicated most frequently that providing services such as education and health care, as well as providing justice should be the priority. The vast majority said reparations should be provided and emphasized the need for community-level reparations. The population further recommended most frequently that reparations should be in the form of memorials, ceremonies, and social services.