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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Khmer Rouge prison commander Duch dies at age of 77

    If there is a hell, there is a special place there reserved for him. Subhuman scum.

    Duch, the former Khmer Rouge commander who oversaw the mass murder of at least 14,000 Cambodians at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, died on Wednesday. He was 77.

    Kaing Guek Eav, who was better known by his alias Duch, was the first senior member of the Khmer Rouge to face trial for his role in a regime blamed for at least 1.7 million deaths in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979.
    Duch died at 00:52 am (17:52 GMT on Tuesday) at the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh, Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. He gave no details of the cause, but Duch had been ill in recent years.

    In 2010, a United Nations tribunal found him guilty of mass murder, torture and crimes against humanity at Tuol Sleng, a former high school in Phnom Penh, which is now a museum and a moving memorial to those who died.

    He was given a life sentence two years later after his appeal - that he was just a junior official following orders - was rejected.

    His death is "a reminder that justice is a long and difficult" process, said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which conducts research on the Khmer Rouge regime.

    "Perhaps it can bring some satisfaction to the living, and the fallen can now rest in peace," Youk told AFP news agency.

    At Tuol Sleng, codenamed "S-21", detainees were tortured by Khmer Rouge guards, many of them teenagers because Duch saw them as "like a blank piece of paper" and easily indoctrinated.

    The guards sought confessions for non-existent crimes and were instructed to "smash to bits" traitors and counter-revolutionaries. For the Khmer Rouge, that could mean anyone from school teachers to children, to pregnant women and "intellectuals" identified simply because they wore glasses.


    Duch - himself a former maths teacher - had an obsessive eye for detail and kept his school-turned-jail meticulously organised. He maintained a huge archive of photos, confessions and other documents with which prosecutors were able to trace the harrowing final months of thousands of inmates.


    "The crimes committed by the accused at S-21 are rarely matched in modern history in terms of their combined barbarity, scope, duration, premeditation and callousness," International Co-prosecutor Bill Smith told the trial, at one point.


    Duch - by the time of his trial a born-again Christian - expressed regret for his crimes.


    "I would like to acknowledge my legal responsibility for all the crimes that happened at S-21, especially the torture and execution of people there," he told the court in March 2009.

    Duch joined the Maoist movement led by Pol Pot in 1967 and was put in charge of Tuol Sleng after the regime seized power in 1975.

    In their quest to build an agrarian utopia and rewrite Cambodian history the Khmer Rouge cleared cities and forced people into the countryside where they died from disease, starvation, overwork or execution. The brutality came to an end in 1979 when Vietnamese forces overthrew the regime in 1979, but Duch slipped away from S-21 and disappeared. Many assumed he had died.

    But in 1999, Nic Dunlop, a British photographer visiting a remote village near the Cambodia-Thai border recognised him, setting in motion a chain of events that eventually led to his arrest.

    In an account of Duch and his atrocities, The Lost Executioner, Dunlop wrote that the former commander's control in S-21 "was total".


    "Nothing in the former schoolhouse took place without Duch's approval," he wrote. "Not until you walk through the empty corridors of Tuol Sleng does Stalin's idiom that one death is a tragedy - a million a statistic, take on a terrifying potency."


    At S-21, new prisoners had their mugshots taken, and hundreds of those pictures now line the walls.


    Norng Chan Phal, one of the few people to have survived S-21, was a boy when he and his parents were sent to Duch's prison and interrogated on suspicion of having links to Vietnam, considered an enemy by the Khmer Rouge.


    His parents were tortured and killed but Chan Phal survived to give testimony at Duch's trial in 2010.


    "He was cooperative, he spoke to the court frankly. He apologised to all S-21 victims and asked them to open their hearts. He apologised to me too," Chan Phal told Reuters.


    "He apologised. But justice is not complete."


    The work of the tribunal -a hybrid court of international and Cambodian judges - was tainted by its limited scope, the age of its defendants and accusations of political meddling.


    It recorded only three convictions - including Duch's.
    Khmer Rouge prison commander Duch dies at age of 77 | News | Al Jazeera

  2. #2
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    Cujo's Avatar
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    It's kind of surprising none of his surviving victims or victims relatives didn't hunt him down and kill him.

  3. #3
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    Quite a few of them lived rather well indeed on the Thai side of the border for years and years.


    Passed S-21 twice and couldn't go in either time. Walls of kid's photos that were systematically beaten to death with gokw. Fok that.

    The light-hearted, sell you anything, 'guides' outside didn't help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Duch - himself a former maths teacher - had an obsessive eye for detail and kept his school-turned-jail meticulously organised. He maintained a huge archive of photos, confessions and other documents
    Sounds a lot like Ray Carey

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    Former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan loses genocide appeal
    Ruling marks the final decision by the court and ends 16 years of work by the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Cambodia.
    22 Sep 2022

    The last surviving senior leader of Cambodia’s radical Khmer Rouge regime has had an appeal against his conviction for genocide rejected at a war crimes tribunal in the capital Phnom Penh.

    The ruling on Thursday in the appeal of Khieu Samphan, 91, the former head of state of the 1975-1979 “Democratic Kampuchea” government, marks the final decision by the court and ends 16 years of work by the UN-backed war crimes tribunal.

    The rejection of the appeal that sought to clear Khieu Samphan of the genocide of minority Cham Muslims and ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia also closes the book on one of the regime’s French-educated intellectuals who had argued that he was unaware of the crimes of mass murder perpetrated by his colleagues.

    Of the two million victims of the Khmer Rouge, 100,000 to 500,000 were Cham Muslims, and an estimated 20,000 were ethnic Vietnamese.

    Thursday’s ruling is expected to be the last by the tribunal, which brought to justice just five senior Khmer Rouge leaders – including one who died during proceedings and another who was ruled unfit to stand trial – at a cost of more than $330 million.


    Photo of Khieu Samphan dated July 27, 1975, and taken by a visiting Vietnamese delegation to Cambodia just months after the Khmer Rouge fought their way to power


    Khieu Samphan (right) at the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Thursday, September 22, 2022

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    Thailand Expat prawnograph's Avatar
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    and one from the archives, 14 November 2007 (Phnom Penh Khmer Rouge leader 'very sick').
    Seems he wasn't so sick after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Khmer Rouge leader 'very sick'

    Phnom Penh - Khieu Samphan, who wrote the manifesto for the Khmer Rouge killing fields, was flown from his Pailin home to hospital today, after reports he was about to be arrested for war crimes.

    He was placed under military guard after reports he had collapsed at his home in Pailin, near the Thai border.

    His family claimed he had tried to get to Thailand because of the superior medical care but that he had been refused permission to cross the border.

    Khieu Samphan, now 76 and the former head of state of the Khmer Rouge's Democratic Kampuchea regime, became ill Tuesday night, his family claimed. One report said he had fallen out of a hammock.

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday morning in a speech that he was sending a helicopter to Pailin to bring the elderly man to the capital for treatment.

    "If he dies they will blame the government," Hun Sen said.

    Once a strident critic of Prince Norodom Sihanouk's authoritarian government, Samphan was a founding member of the Khmer Rouge's 1975 to 1979 regime, under which up to 2 million Cambodians perished.

    While a student in France, he wrote a university thesis which became the core of the Khmer Rouge's Maoist-type communist policy. The regime killed at least 2 million people during less than four years in power.

    Ieng Sary and his wife Khieu Thirith earlier this week became the third and fourth people to be charged by the joint UN-Cambodian tribunal on Monday, joining late leader Pol Pot's former deputy Nuon Chea and former S-21 torture center commandant Kang Keng Iev, alias Duch.

    Bangkok Post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    Quite a few of them lived rather well indeed on the Thai side of the border for years and years.


    Passed S-21 twice and couldn't go in either time. Walls of kid's photos that were systematically beaten to death with gokw. Fok that.

    The light-hearted, sell you anything, 'guides' outside didn't help.
    I've been in 3 times. There was something about the place - perhaps the innocence of the photos - that really touched you. Macabre, yes, but powerful too.

    I also used to ride past the killing fields when we did bike rides around PP and into the country. We'd actually stop nearby at a little stall and have a Black Panther stout with the fields in the distance.

    The horrors that place had seen...

  8. #8
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    We were in a German concentration camp years ago, and in the housing barracks someone asked if anyone would spend the night locked in there alone for one million dollars and everyone of us said absolutely no foking way.

    Weird how the walls and wooden bunks seem to hold and emanate the horrors they've seen.


    Anyway, hopefully the children's blood-curdling screams have serenaded this koont to sleep every night for the last decades.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    They think there are 20,000+ killing fields dotted around I believe, with many unidentified.

    I was in Battambang and visiting the mountain where there is a shrine inside on one side, and on the other a famous Bat cave.

    The man in attendance told us the shrine marks where they threw in the dead bodies of adults; he continued that the smaller hole next to it was used for kids.

    I had to walk away.

    The actions of the Khmer Rouge still remain beyond my comprehension. How these fuckers were allowed to evade justice for so long is criminal, but then again the same applies to Kissinger.
    Warning: Be cautious if you are a fragile pink

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    They think there are 20,000+ killing fields dotted around I believe, with many unidentified.

    I was in Battambang and visiting the mountain where there is a shrine inside on one side, and on the other a famous Bat cave.

    The man in attendance told us the shrine marks where they threw in the dead bodies of adults; he continued that the smaller hole next to it was used for kids.

    I had to walk away.

    The actions of the Khmer Rouge still remain beyond my comprehension. How these fuckers were allowed to evade justice for so long is criminal, but then again the same applies to Kissinger.
    Well, when people make stupid false equivalences like that, what can you expect.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    Well, when people make stupid false equivalences like that, what can you expect.
    Like what?

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    Went to Cambodia with a few friends only a couple of years after it opened up. I think we went in 1995 (could be 1996). It was fairly surreal. Ankor Wat still had areas that had not been demined, and for some of the outer temples you got an armed escort.

    We visited Tuol Sleng. There were no guides, no vendors - nothing much as I recall. We started going around, and it just got to me. I left and went to wait by the car. I do remember that it was so quiet, and had (for my probably too sensitive soul) a palpable air of evil.

    Nothing would induce me to go back.

  13. #13
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    Well, when people make stupid false equivalences like that, what can you expect.
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Like what?
    Between the Khmer Rouge and Kissinger, obviously.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Between the Khmer Rouge and Kissinger, obviously.
    You don't think Kissinger deserves to be jailed for what he did to Cambodia? The major consequence of which was the rise of the Khmer Rouge.

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    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Went to Cambodia with a few friends only a couple of years after it opened up. I think we went in 1995 (could be 1996). It was fairly surreal.
    I visited not long after you and I found the absence of a certain age group weird.

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    ^I visited Phnom Penh in 2015 and stayed w/ a friend in a non-touristy neighborhood. I noted that I hardly saw senior citizens. The locals said that most of them died/ were killed in the 1970s. I found it strange too (the absence of seniors).

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    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    ^I visited Phnom Penh in 2015 and stayed w/ a friend in a non-touristy neighborhood. I noted that I hardly saw senior citizens. The locals said that most of them died/ were killed in the 1970s. I found it strange too (the absence of seniors).
    I think a third of the population was wiped out.
    Just for comparison, in 2021, 13% of Thailand's population was over 65.
    For Cambodia it was 5%, although it is steadily climbing.

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    Hun Sen was a KR commander. I wonder how he got a free pass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mackayae View Post
    Hun Sen was a KR commander. I wonder how he got a free pass.
    The official story is that he "defected" to the Vietnamese in 1977.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    I've been in 3 times. There was something about the place - perhaps the innocence of the photos - that really touched you. Macabre, yes, but powerful too.

    I also used to ride past the killing fields when we did bike rides around PP and into the country. We'd actually stop nearby at a little stall and have a Black Panther stout with the fields in the distance.

    The horrors that place had seen...
    In one of my cambodia travel threads dillinger pointed out that my always smiling wife wasnt smiling at all. Very depressing place and the photos on the wall told of the the impending horror

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLD View Post
    In one of my cambodia travel threads dillinger pointed out that my always smiling wife wasnt smiling at all. Very depressing place and the photos on the wall told of the the impending horror
    I lived there for 12 months and loved the place and the people.

    You might think this is weird, but the topic of the KR almost never crops up in conversation. On the few occasions it does, you can guarantee that the people present will have lost someone.

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    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    I lived there for 12 months and loved the place and the people.

    You might think this is weird, but the topic of the KR almost never crops up in conversation. On the few occasions it does, you can guarantee that the people present will have lost someone.
    It is an amazing country. It's just a shame it's being destroyed by a corrupt regime happy to sell it from under its peoples feet to the chinky parasites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    It is an amazing country. It's just a shame it's being destroyed by a corrupt regime happy to sell it from under its peoples feet to the chinky parasites.
    Yeah, true.

    It will be my first time back there for 10 years in January, but I think few things will ever change. There will always be rampant corruption and despair for the average bong on the street.

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