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  1. #1
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    Bangyai's Avatar
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    A Briton in Pol Pots Killing Fields

    Duch trial: sister of Briton who died in Khmer Rouge killing fields says his murderer should never be freed

    As the trial of a notorious Cambodian prison guard Duch draws to a close, the sister of the only Briton to die in the Killing Fields says Duch should never be freed.

    By Nick Meo in Castle Carrock, Cumbria
    Published: 7:00AM BST 25 Jul 2010


    John Dewhirst and his sister Hilary Holland Photo: NORTH NEWS

    Comrade Duch Photo: EPA

    Cambodian Meo Soknen, 13, stands inside a small shrine full of human bones and skulls, all victims of the Khmer Rouge Photo: AP


    When a slightly built, bespectacled former revolutionary is sentenced on Monday for ordering the deaths of more than 14,000 people, Cambodians will at last see justice being done for one of the 20th century's greatest crimes.

    Thousands of miles away on the moors of rural Cumbria, so will a solicitor whose brother fell victim to Pol Pot's murderous regime in 1978 when an adventure went horribly wrong.

    John Dewhirst, a 26-year-old teacher from Cumbria, was enjoying one last trip before returning home, sailing through the Gulf of Thailand in a motorised junk called Foxy Lady. All went well until he and his friends came too close to the coast of Cambodia, then a closed land whose rulers had instituted a chilling reign of terror.
    They were seized by Khmer Rouge coastguards and taken from their boat to a torture centre in the capital Phnom Penh.
    There Mr Dewhirst was brutally interrogated and forced to make the ludicrous confession that he was a CIA spy, before being slaughtered in what became known as the killing fields - the only Briton among the hundreds of thousands to die there.
    "It's hard to believe Duch's confession and apology," Mr Dewhirst's sister, Hilary Holland, told The Sunday Telegraph, speaking of the man who condemned her brother to death 32 years ago.
    "There has been some talk about releasing Duch because he has been in prison for so long. To me that would be wrong."
    Comrade Duch, the former head of the Tuol Sleng interrogation centre and the first Khmer Rouge official to go on trial, has told the court that before ordering John Dewhirst's death he chatted to the young Englishman and found him to be a polite young man.
    Now it is Duch's turn to await sentence. The one he will be given tomorrow by the UN-backed tribunal in Phnom Penh will be far more merciful than the savage punishments he once inflicted during the Khmer Rouge's rule in the 1970s.
    On trial, he has attempted everything he can to be released; apologising for his crimes, offering to meet the surviving captives of Tuol Sleng, and begging the judges for clemency. He became a born-again Christian in an attempt to find forgiveness.

    Full article:
    Duch trial: sister of Briton who died in Khmer Rouge killing fields says his murderer should never be freed - Telegraph

  2. #2
    Non expat
    WujouMao's Avatar
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    The Khmer Rouge still have their supporters in Cambodia - those who see them as defenders of the nation against first the Americans, then the Vietnamese.
    I happened to see a Khmer Rouge village when i was last in Cambodia. The locals certainly didnt look happy with me being on their doorstep eating soup. i felt quite edgy.

  3. #3
    I am in Jail

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    Txs for the news, Bangyai.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    ossierob's Avatar
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    Not sure what to think

  5. #5
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    there are two other threads running that are related to this topic:

    http://teakdoor.com/cambodia-forum/5...uol-sleng.html (Tuol Sleng) is a photo thread from bobcock on Tuol Seng the Khmer Rouge torture prison

    and this one http://teakdoor.com/thailand-and-asi...r-verdict.html - "It was not clear how Rob Hamill's brother, Kerry Hamill, fell into the hands of the brutal communist regime. The 28-year-old's yacht was captured in Cambodian waters in 1978 and he and shipmate Briton John Dewhirst were taken to S-21 prison, tortured and executed. A third member of the crew, Canadian Stuart Glass, was apparently shot dead when the boat was seized."

    The verdict is given today 26 July 2010:
    For ordinary Cambodians the widely expected guilty verdict, to be broadcast live on all domestic television networks, will signal the end of a significant chapter in Cambodian life and provide the framework for final closure on the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge.
    Last edited by genghis61; 26-07-2010 at 07:09 AM. Reason: spellink

  6. #6
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    I remember seeing his photo on the walls of the TS-21 prison when i visited over 10 years ago. Total shit luck on his part to get captured like that.

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