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SOAS scholar to testify as witness for ECCC of Cambodia

8 July 2013

Dr Steve Heder, a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London is scheduled to testify this July as a witness for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts (ECCC) of Cambodia.  

The political scientist has been summoned by the ECCC Trial Chamber as an academic and author to provide evidence in the cases of two persons, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, indicted as senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge.

The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 under the supreme leadership of the late Pol Pot. The indictment accuses Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan of responsibility for genocide, other crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Dr Heder taught South East Asian politics at the School between 1997 and 2012. His research interests include authoritarianism, nationalism and racism, democratisation and civil society, and state and other political violence.

The scholar is author of a number of books and articles about the Khmer Rouge researched and published since he joined the School, some of which have been entered into evidence in the cases about which he is to testify.  

His books include ‘Seven Candidates for Prosecution: Accountability for the Crimes of the Khmer Rouge’ and ‘Cambodian Communism and the Vietnamese Model. Volume 1. Imitation and Independence, 1930-1975.’  

Dr Heder also worked for the United Nations between 2006 and 2011 to assist the ECCC trials and was previously a journalist in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Taiwan for Time Magazine, Newsweek, and NBC News.  He is the co-editor of a volume: Propaganda, Politics, and Violence in Cambodia.