Saturday, 27 October 2007

New York Times: Khmer Torture House

Image Courtesy Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide

The New York Times brings us an article on a Cambodian photographer Nhem En, who was on the staff of the Tuol Sleng prison, the most notorious torture house of the Khmer Rouge regime, which caused the deaths of 1.7 million people from 1975 to 1979. Nhem En was called to be a witness at a coming trial of Khmer Rouge leaders, including his commandant at the prison, Kaing Geuk Eav, known as Duch, who has been arrested and charged with crimes against humanity.

Mr. Nhem En’s career in the Khmer Rouge began in 1970 at age 9 when he was recruited as a village boy to be a drummer in a touring revolutionary band. When he was 16, he said, he was sent to China for a seven-month course in photography. He became the chief of six photographers at Tuol Sleng, where at least 14,000 people were tortured to death or sent to killing fields. Only a half dozen inmates were known to have survived.

A chiiling must-read. The article is by Seth Mydans.

The article: Out From Behind a Camera at a Khmer Torture House

The podcast: Back Story

External link: Photos at Tuol Seng Prison