WHO: Political and social groups, minorities (victims); Khmer Rouge (perpetrators)
WHAT: 1.7-2.2 million killed
WHY: In 1975, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot took control of the Cambodian government. The Khmer Rouge was intent on revolutionizing the country toward an agrarian communist model. In order to achieve this aim, the Khmer Rouge forced Cambodians throughout the country to abandon their homes and journey to collective farms and labor camps. Civil rights were abolished and intellectuals including doctors, journalists, lawyers and professors and anyone who could be considered potential opposition were killed. Those who were too weak to make the journey to the labor camps were murdered, as well as those who refused to leave or were in opposition to the Khmer Rouge’s plans. Many civilians succumbed to the harsh conditions of the camps, and died of starvation or disease.