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A commemorative stupa filled with the skulls of the victims at the Killing Field of Choeung Ek.
Choeung Ek Killing Field: The bones of victims killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers.
Mass grave at the Killing Field of Choeung Ek.

The Killing Fields (ខ្មែរវាលពិឃាត viel pi-kʰiet) are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of 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).

Analysis of 20,000 mass grave sites by the DC-Cam Mapping Program and Yale University indicate at least 1,386,734 victims of execution.[១][២] Estimates of the total number of deaths resulting from Khmer Rouge policies, including disease and starvation, range from 1.7 to 2.5 million out of a 1975 population of roughly 8 million. In 1979, communist Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea and toppled the Khmer Rouge regime.

Cambodian journalist Dith Pran coined the term "killing fields" after his escape from the regime.[៣] A 1984 film, The Killing Fields, tells the story of Dith Pran, played by another Cambodian survivor Haing S. Ngor, and his journey to escape the death camps.


របប​ខ្មែរ​ក្រហម​បាន​ចាប់​ខ្លួន​ និង​ប្រហារជីវិត​រាល់​ជន​ណា​ដែល​​គេ​មាន​ការ​សង្ស័យ​ថា​មាន​ទំនាក់ទំនង​​ជាមួយ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​របប​ចាស់ ឬ​ជាមួួយ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​បរទេស​ ក៏​ដូច​ជា​សាស្ត្រាចារ្យ និង​បញ្ញាវ័ន្ត។ ជនជាតិ​វៀតណាម​ ជនជាតិ​ថៃ ជន​ជាតិ​ចិន​ ជនជាតិ​ចាម​ ខ្មែរ​កាន់​សាសនា​គ្រិស្ត និង​ព្រះសង្ឃ​ក្នុង​ព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនា គឺ​ជា​គោលដៅ​ក្នុង​ការ​ចាប់​ខ្លួន។ ជា​លទ្ធផល​ ប៉ុលពត​ពេល​ខ្លះ​ត្រូវ​គេ​ពណ៌នា​ថា​«​ហ៊ីត្លែរ​នៃ​កម្ពុជា» និង «បិសាច​ប្រល័យ​ពូជសាសន៍?»[៤]។ លោក​ Martin Shaw បាន​ពណ៌នា​អំពើ​ប្រល័យ​ពូជសាសន៍​នៅកម្ពុជា​ជា​«អំពើ​ប្រល័យពូជសាសន៍​ដ៏​ពិត​ប្រាកដ​ក្នុង​សម័យ​សង្គ្រាម​ត្រជាក់»[៥]

Ben Kiernan estimates that about 1.7 million people were killed.[៦] Researcher Craig Etcheson of the Documentation Center of Cambodia suggests that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a "most likely" figure of 2.2 million. After 5 years of researching some 20,000 grave sites, he concludes that, "these mass graves contain the remains of 1,386,734 victims of execution."[៧] A UN investigation reported 2–3 million dead, while UNICEF estimated 3 million had been killed.[៨] Demographic analysis by Patrick Heuveline suggests that between 1.17 and 3.42 million Cambodians were killed,[៩] while Marek Sliwinski suggests that 1.8 million is a conservative figure.[១០] Even the Khmer Rouge acknowledged that 2 million had been killed—though they attributed those deaths to a subsequent Vietnamese invasion.[១១] By late 1979, UN and Red Cross officials were warning that another 2.25 million Cambodians faced death by starvation due to “the near destruction of Cambodian society under the regime of ousted Prime Minister Pol Pot,”[១២][១៣] who were saved by international aid after the Vietnamese invasion.

Cambodia's ethnic minorities constituted 15 percent of the population in pre-Khmer Rouge era. Of the 400,000 Vietnamese who lived in Cambodia before 1975, some 150–300,000 were expelled by the previous Lon Nol regime. When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge came to power, there remained about 100–250,000 Vietnamese in the country. Almost all of them were repatriated by December 1975.

The Chinese community (about 425,000 people in 1975) was reduced to 200,000 during the next four years.[១៤] In the Khmer Rouge's Standing Committee, four members were of Chinese ancestry, two Vietnamese, and two Khmers. Some observers argue that this mixed composition makes it difficult to argue that there was an intent to kill off minorities.[១៥] R.J. Rummel, an analyst of political killings, argues that there was a clear genocidal intent:

One estimate is that out of 40,000 to 60,000 monks, only between 800 and 1,000 survived to carry on their religion. We do know that of 2,680 monks in eight monasteries, a mere seventy were alive as of 1979. As for the Buddhist temples that populated the landscape of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge destroyed 95 percent of them, and turned the remaining few into warehouses or allocated them for some other degrading use. Amazingly, in the very short span of a year or so, the small gang of Khmer Rouge wiped out the center of Cambodian culture, its spiritual incarnation, its institutions....As part of a planned genocide campaign, the Khmer Rouge sought out and killed other minorities, such as the Moslem Cham. In the district of Kompong Xiem, for example, they demolished five Cham hamlets and reportedly massacred 20,000 that lived there; in the district of Koong Neas only four Cham apparently survived out of some 20,000.[១៦]


វាល​ពិឃាត​ដែល​ឈ្មោះ​បោះ​សំឡេង​ជាង​គេ​គឺ​វាល​ពិឃាត​ជើង​ឯក។​ សព្វថ្ងៃ​នេះ​​ទី​កន្លែង​ជា​ទី​​​បែប​ពុទ្ធសាសនា​សម្រាប់​​ជា​ការ​ចង​ចាំ​ដល់​ជន​រង​គ្រោះ​ និង​សារម​ន្ទីរ​ទួលស្លែង​ជា​សារម​ន្ទីរ​ប្រល័យ​ពូជសាសន៍។ សួន​រំលឹក​ការ​ចង​ចាំ​នៅ​ជើងឯក​​ត្រូវ​បាន​សាងសង់​ឡើង​នៅ​ជុំវិញ​រណ្តៅ​កប់​សព​រួម​ជា​ច្រើន​ដែល​ផ្ទុក​សព​មនុស្ស​រាប់ពាន់​នាក់​ ដែល​ភាគច្រើន​ត្រូវផ្ទេរ​ចេញ​មន្ទីរ​ស-២១​នៅ​ឯ​ភ្នំពេញ។ ការ​សម្តែង​ការ​គោរព​ដ៏​ជ្រាលជ្រៅ​បាន​ឧទ្ទិស​ជូន​ជន​រងគ្រោះ​តាម​ស្លាក​សញ្ញា និង​ផ្នែក​ជា​ច្រើន​ទឿត​នៅ​ផ្ទៃនៃ​សារមន្ទីរ។ រណ្តៅ​កប់​សព​រួម​មួយ​ចំនួន​ធំ​អាច​មើល​ឃើញ​នៅ​លើ​ដី និង​មួយ​ចំនួន​ទៀត​មិន​ទាន់​ត្រូវ​គាស់កកាយ​។​ ជាទូទៅ​ ឆ្អឹង​និង​សម្លៀកបំពាក់​​ត្រូវ​បាន​កប់​នៅ​ជម្រៅ​រាក់​???The best known monument of the Killing Fields is at the village of Choeung Ek. Today, it is the site of a Buddhist memorial to the victims, and Tuol Sleng has a museum commemorating the genocide. The memorial park at Choeung Ek has been built around the mass graves of many thousands of victims, most of whom were executed after they had been transported from the S-21 Prison in Phnom Penh. The utmost respect is given to the victims of the massacres through signs and tribute sections throughout the park. Many dozens of mass graves are visible above ground, many which have not been excavated yet. Commonly, bones and clothing surface after heavy rainfalls due to the large number of bodies still buried in shallow mass graves. It is not uncommon to run across the bones or teeth of the victims scattered on the surface as one tours the memorial park. If these are found, visitors are asked to notify a memorial park officer or guide.

A survivor of the genocide, Dara Duong, founded The Killing Fields Museum in Seattle, Washington, USA.



  1. Documentation Center of Cambodia
  2. Yale Cambodian Genocide Program
  3. "'Killing Fields' journalist dies". BBC News. March 30, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  4. William Branigin, Architect of Genocide Was Unrepentant to the End The Washington Post, April 17, 1998
  5. Theory of the Global State: Globality as Unfinished Revolution by Martin Shaw, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp 141, ISBN 978-0-521-59730-2
  6. The CGP, 1994–2008 Cambodian Genocide Program, Yale University
  7. Sharp, Bruce (April 1, 2005). "Counting Hell: The Death Toll of the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia". Retrieved July 5, 2006.
  8. William Shawcross, The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust, and Modern Conscience (Touchstone, 1985), p115-6
  9. Heuveline, Patrick (2001). "The Demographic Analysis of Mortality in Cambodia." In Forced Migration and Mortality, eds. Holly E. Reed and Charles B. Keely. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
  10. Marek Sliwinski, Le Génocide Khmer Rouge: Une Analyse Démographique (L'Harmattan, 1995).
  11. Khieu Samphan, Interview, Time, March 10, 1980
  12. New York Times, August 8, 1979.
  13. "CAMBODIA: Help for the Auschwitz of Asia". Time. November 5, 1979. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13.
  14. Totten, Samuel (2004). Century of genocide:. Routledge. p. 345. ISBN 0-415-94430-9. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  15. United Nations' General Assembly Resolution 260 (Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide) requires that a, “national, ethical, racial or religious group” be specifically targeted to be considered Genocide. The Khmer Rouge did not meet this legal definition since all people, including the Khmer Rouge themselves, were equally targeted. Therefore the United Nations and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has, as of December 2009, only charged two individuals with "Genocide," for the targeting of the Vietnamese and ethnic Cham Muslims.(See AP) Instead, most have been charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, homicide, torture and religious persecution.(see)(see also)
  16. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/WF.CHAP6.HTM