WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding a decision by the joint Cambodian and United Nations tribunal in which two senior Khmer Rouge leaders, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, were found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison:

“This is a historic day for the people of Cambodia, and especially for those who suffered under Pol Pot’s cruel Khmer Rouge regime. Between 1975 and 1979, Pol Pot began systematically restructuring Cambodian society in pursuit of a utopian agrarian state. Years of disease, starvation, and torture in Khmer Rouge ‘killing fields’ left as many as two million dead. Today, for the first time, the most senior Khmer Rouge officials—those who planned and are responsible for these crimes—have been held legally accountable for their actions. After 35 years, the Cambodian people are starting to see the justice they deserve.”