Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


April 12, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Cambodian refugee U Sam Oeur will speak about his four-year incarceration in concentration camps at the hands of the Khmer Rouge and will recite poetry in English and Khmer at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in the commons of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St. Amnesty International and the Department of Multicultural Student Affairs is sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.

Oeur was driven out of Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, a day that marked the fall of Saigon (South Vietnam) to the North Vietnamese and Phnom Pehn (Cambodia) to the Khmer Rouge. He had been elected to the Cambodia National Assembly in 1972 and 1973 and was appointed the secretary general of the Khmer League for Freedom before the Khmer Rouge overthrew the U.S.-backed Lon Nol government in 1975 and took Oeur and his family captive. Oeur spent four years in six concentration camps. He saw the population of nearly seven million Cambodians shrink by nearly two million in the Khmer Rouge's genocidal effort to turn the country into a vast slave-labor camp. The film, "The Killing Fields," chronicled this terror.

For more information contact Rick Halperin at 214-768-3284.