Khmer Rouge Prison Chief Sentenced To 35 Years

July 26th, 2010 - 8:08 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
duch-eavJuly 26, (THAINDIAN NEWS) Cambodia saw justice being served after decades as a UN tribunal sentenced the infamous former prison chief of Khmer Rouge, Duch, to 35 years in prison. The 67 year old pleaded guilty to overseeing deaths of over 15000 people and was convicted for crimes against humanity. He admitted that he had ensured the death of over 15,000 people who were sent to the Tuol Sleng prison during the 4 years of Khmer Rouge. He also asked for forgiveness from the court. This was the first verdict given out by the UN backed war crimes tribunal.

Duch was in charge of the Tuol Sleng prison during the Khmer Rouge regime that lasted between 1975-1979 when there were as many as 2 million deaths in the country. In a trial in November, Duch asked to be acquitted of all charges because he felt that he worked under the orders of his superiors. 31 years after the end of the horrific regime in Cambodia, the UN is trying to bring to justice the criminals who killed millions in the name of order and revolution in the country. Duch is one of the five senior in the Khmer Rouge regime to go on trial for the activities by the group in those 4 years. The crimes included evacuation of cities, forceful labor in rice fields and even genocide of those who were considered enemies of the revolution.

Duch has earlier acknowledged his role in ‘S-21′ (code name for Tuol Sleng) and said that he did his work under orders on a day to day basis. He was known to be a meticulous keeper of the records of all those who went to Tuol Sleng and merely 14 of the 15,000 made it alive out of it. Three of the prisoners are still alive and one spoke of rubbing salt and pepper into Duch referring to the torture tactics that he used in those days.

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