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Cambodia's Prime Minister, Hun Sen, during his official visit to Japan, speaks to the press in Tokyo on June 14, 2007. He expressed strong desire for a quick commencement of the trial of the Pol Pot regime, stressing that a bright future of his country cannot come until its justice is done. During his visit, he meets business leaders to lure more trade with and investment in Cambodia. (UPI Photo/keizo Mori)
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Saloth Sar (May 19, 1925 – April 15, 1998), better known as Pol Pot, (Khmer: ប៉ុល ពត), was the leader of the Cambodian communist movement known as the Khmer Rouge and was Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea from 1976–1979. Pol Pot's leadership, in which he attempted to "cleanse" the country, resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.7–2.5 million people.

Pol Pot became leader of Cambodia in mid-1975. During his time in power, Pol Pot imposed a version of agrarian socialism, forcing urban dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labor projects, toward a goal of "restarting civilization" in a "Year Zero". The combined effects of forced labour, malnutrition, poor medical care and executions resulted in the deaths of approximately 21% of the Cambodian population.

In 1979, after the invasion of Cambodia by neighboring Vietnam in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, Pol Pot fled into the jungles of southwest Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge government collapsed. From 1979 to 1997 he and a remnant of the old Khmer Rouge operated from the border region of Cambodia and Thailand, where they clung to power, with nominal United Nations recognition as the rightful government of Cambodia.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pol Pot."