[ . Vann Nath. via NY Times]
Vann Nath is one of seven people to survive the killings at Tuol Sleng, codenamed S-21, in Phnom Penh. He is only one of three who are still alive today.
The Khmer Rouge held a radical agrarian ideal funded on social engineering and absolute self-sufficiency, to completely restart civilisation. For four years from 1975, it became a reign of terror when more than two million Cambodians, and many thousands of foreigners, were died of starvation, exhausation, torture.
The regime was secretive and called itself Angkar, ‘the organisation’. It was eventually led by Pol Pot.
Pol Pot died in 1998 while under house arrest by a split faction from the Khmer Rouge. He was likely poisoned.
[ . Comrade Duch. via the BBC]
No one from the senior ranks has ever been convicted, or tried. Except Kang Kek Lew (Comrade Duch), who headed the Toul Sleng prison. 17,000 men, women and children were killed there. If you go there today, just a short tuk-tuk’s ride within the city, a local guide will take you-for about 20USD, through the different rooms of the prison.
Today, Kang Kek Lew was sentenced to 19 years in prison.
His real identity was discovered by a traveling photographer, Nic Dunlop, who recognised him from a photo he carried in his shirt pocket.
“I ask if Cambodians are happy and the world is happy that millions of people died, a lot of money has been spent on the court – and the perpetrator is free [in 19 years]? I am not happy with that,” Chum Mey said.