Khmer Rouge Wiki – Khmer Rouge Biography
The Khmer Rouge’s chief guard, who confessed to overseeing the torture and murder of some 16,000 Cambodians while running the regime’s most notorious prison, died. Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, was 77 years old and serving a life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Khmer Rouge Work & Career
Duch, whose trial took place in 2009, was the first senior Khmer Rouge figure to face a UN-backed tribunal convened in the late 1970s to provide justice for the regime’s brutal rule, and was held responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people. – a quarter of Cambodia’s population at that time.
The commander of the top secret Tuol Sleng prison, named S-21, was one of the few former Khmer Rouge who admitted even partial responsibility for his actions, and his trial contained his own distorted graphic statement of how people were tortured. prison.
Men, women and children who were seen as enemies of the regime or who did not obey its orders were imprisoned and tortured there, and only a handful survived.
“Everyone who was arrested and sent to the S-21 was thought to have died already,” he said in April 2009.
The torturers under Duch beat, whipped and shocked the prisoners with electrical devices, Duch confessed to the court, but still denied the survivors ‘and other court witnesses’ statements of their involvement in the torture and executions. The children of the detainees were killed so that the next generation could not take revenge. Duch described the babies’ deaths as “criminal liability” but accused subordinates of hitting young bodies on trees.
He said that the prison’s own guards and interrogators were killed for minor mistakes, and that in June 2009, they rarely showed emotion on the witness stand, talking about seeing friends of the revolution locked in the prison’s cells. Confessing to betraying his own friends, “It was beyond cowardice.” Said.
When he was finally given a criminal verdict against him in July 2010, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison, shortened to just 19 due to his tenure. The judges said they took into account the persecution and Duch’s statements of cooperation and repentance in the context of the Cold War, however limited. However, the angry survivors feared that one day he might walk freely. On appeal, the sentence was extended to life imprisonment in 2012 for “shocking and heinous” crimes against the people of Cambodia.
Like many key members of the Khmer Rouge, Duch was an academic before becoming revolutionary. The former math teacher joined Pol Pot’s movement in 1967, three years before he started bombarding Cambodia with carpets to destroy the US’s North Vietnamese soldiers and the Viet Cong from the border.
The Khmer Rouge took power in 1975 and immediately sought to transform Cambodia into a radical peasant society, evacuating the cities and forcing the population to work on the land. They supported their rule by ruthlessly eliminating their enemies, and in 1976 Duch became the reliable head of the ultimate killing machine S-21.
Court judges said that he signed all executions there and that interrogators were often present when they used torture to obtain confessions, including removing inmates’ toenails, giving electric shocks, and water skiing. Despite his denials, the judges said he personally participated in torture and executions from time to time.
The torture and executions that took place in Tuol Sleng were routinely recorded and photographed, and thousands of documents and film negatives that remained in prison when the Khmer Rouge were forced from power in 1979 became evidence of the regime’s persecution.
Duch fled, disappeared for almost two decades in northwest Cambodia, and converted to Christianity until the accidental discovery of a British journalist in 1999 led to his arrest.
Duch has asked for forgiveness several times, even offering to face a public stoner at one point. However, on the last day of the trial, his surprise request for his acquittal and release made many wonder whether his regret was sincere.
Khmer Rouge Death & Cause
Prison chief Chat Sineang, who was transferred from the court’s prison in 2013, said Duch was admitted to the Cambodia Soviet Friendship Hospital on Monday after having trouble breathing in the Kandal state prison. cause of death before being handed over to family.
Neak Pheaktra, a spokesperson for the Phnom Penh court, which is handling the cases related to the regime’s crimes, said he died in a Cambodian hospital on Wednesday morning.