Cambodian genocide

murder of approx. 1.5 to 3 million Cambodians, along with mass detention and torture, carried out by the Khmer Rouge government between 1975 and 1979

The Cambodian genocide (Khmer: ហាយនភាពខ្មែរ or ការប្រល័យពូជសាសន៍ខ្មែរ, French: Génocide cambodgien) was the mass killing of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge under the leadership of Pol Pot who pushed Cambodia towards communism. It resulted in the deaths of 1.5 to 2 million people from 1975 to 1979. This was a quarter of Cambodia's 1975 population (c. 7.8 million).

Cambodian genocide
Part of Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia
Skulls of victims of the Cambodian genocide
LocationDemocratic Kampuchea
Date17 April 1975 – 7 January 1979 (3 years, 8 months and 20 days)
TargetCambodia's previous military and political leadership, business leaders, journalists, students, doctors, lawyers, Buddhists, Chams, Chinese Cambodians, Christians, intellectuals, Thai Cambodians, Vietnamese Cambodians
Attack type
Genocide, classicide, politicide, ethnic cleansing, extrajudicial killings, torture, famine, forced labor, human experimentation, forced disappearances, deportation, crimes against humanity
Deaths1.5 to 2 million
PerpetratorsKhmer Rouge
MotiveAnti-Buddhism, anti-Cham sentiment, classism, anti-Christianity, anti-intellectualism, anti-Thai sentiment, anti-Vietnamese sentiment, Islamophobia, Khmer ultra-nationalism, Sinophobia, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism

To push its goals, the Khmer Rouge emptied the cities and forced Cambodians to relocate to labor camps in the countryside, where mass executions, forced labor, physical abuse, malnutrition, and disease happened.[1][2]

Other websites



  1. "How Red China Supported the Brutal Khmer Rouge". Vision Times. 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  2. Chandler, David (2018-05-04). A History of Cambodia. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-429-96406-0.