The Khmer Rouge forbade the conduct of any funeral rites at the time of the death of the estimated two million people who perished during their rule (1975–79). Since then, however, memorials have been erected and commemorative ceremonies performed, both public and private, especially at former execution sites, known widely as the killing fields. The physical remains themselves, as well as images of skulls and the haunting photographs of prisoners destined for execution, have come to serve as iconic representations of that tragic period in Cambodian history and have been deployed in contested interpretations of the regime and its overthrow.
in 2007 of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, in which various former leading figures from Democratic Kampuchea are standing trial. See B. Kiernan, The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge, 1975–1979 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996); S. Heder, ‘Racism, Marxism, label ling and genocide in Ben Kiernan’s The Pol Pot Regime’, South East Asia Research, 5:2 (1997), pp. 101–53. I have examined this question in greater detail in A. Y. Guillou, ‘Traces of destruction and thread of continuity in post