Tuol Sleng, Cambodia

Several years ago I had the pleasure of going to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Whilst there I learnt of an important prison museum. I didn’t know what to expect, and I found myself stunned there. I now wish I hadn’t had all my senses pummelled by the events that occurred there. Consequently, with a shocked and unpleasantly awed brain, these are the best that I could get.

The great news is that Kaing Guek Eav, “Dutch” the former prison chief, was found guilty in his part of the atrocities at Tuol Sleng prison. Tuol Sleng was a regular high school, until the Pol Pot regime took over Cambodia in 1975. There ensued the Killing Fields. Dutch was a fairly low-ranked member of the Pol Pot regime, but to day, he’s the only person to have been brought to trial for his part in the Pol Pot era atrocities. In this prison, new prisoners were stripped to the waist, and had a piece of paper pinned to their skin for a a prison-record photo. They were then thrown into over crowded wooden cells in converted classrooms. Torture could include having fingers cut off with bolt cutters, being hung by the arms but were tied behind the prisoners’ backs causing horrible injuries, and there were more atrocities.

Tuol Sleng – Images by Andrew Blyth

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