MEETING THE KHMER ROUGE'S SURVIVORS

Vann Nath, Telling the truth

Vann Nath, one of  a couple survivors from the most important Khmer Rouge's torture centre, S 21 in Phnm Penh and he later beacame testifies at the trial of the extordinary chamber of the court of Cambodia.

Sitting in the court room just right infront of the court and judges, Vann Nath, One of the few survivors of the Pol Pot's main turture centres wept at a UN-backed tribunal, express all the of the tesimonial eye withness as he saw in the S21 when he was imprisoned. There were more than 17,000 people were tortured before excecution after moving from concentration room.

Vann Nath, a 66 years old, was arrested on 30 December 1977 at his home at Battambang province where he worked as a rice farmer. He was accused of trying to overthrow the Khmer Rouge and of being an enemy of the regime. He arrived at S-21 in Phnm Penh on January 7, 1978 and was kept there until the regime collapsed about a year later. He survives from the execution because he was an artist, he was required to do his very high responsibility of his job to paint and sculpt portraits of the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot and some victims in the concentration room. He had been watched carefully by the khmer Rouge guardians. "He lost his dignity as the Khmer Rouge  even treared him worst than animals, the food was given was so alittle as less then a child.

 Vann Nath was in the tribunal court and told the tribunal, tears streaming down his face. Vann Nath said he was fed twice a day, each meal consisting of three teaspoons of rice porridge, he added that "he even thought eating human flesh would be a good meal."

The life was so hard under Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, who is now the first senior Khmer Rouge figure to face trial and the only one to acknowledge responsibility for his actions, He was head the S-21 prison in Phnom Penh from 1975-79. Up to 17,000 men, women and children were tortured under his command and later taken away to be killed. Vann Nathhas previously testified that being sent to S-21 was tantamount to a death sentence and that he was only following orders to save his own life. Only 14 people, including Vann Nath, are thought to have survived. "Every body was so hungry, he  would eat insects that dropped from the ceiling," he said. "We would quickly grab and eat them so we could avoid being seen by the guards."

Duch Most prisoners were tortured into giving fanciful confessions that suited the Khmer Rouge's political outlook, though they generally had been loyal members of the group.

 Nim Ngek, It was a horrible time

Nim Ngek, one of the survivors from Odormeanchey Province northwest of Cambodia, She was a Khmer Rouge victim who has been tortured and working very hard in the community youth of Democratic Kampuchea under Pol Pot.

She was over thirthy years old when the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia in April 17th,  1975. Her family and relatives were killed, she saw her mother was shot dead and sudendly they I decapitated her uncle and pregnant wife, and her entire family. I saw the Khmer Rouge shoot my mother dead.

She was in Odormeanchey Province , Cambodia's isolated province bodered to Thailand. She had been forced to work very hard even she was so sick and starving, she would have been killed if she could not work. She was seperated from her villagers after her mom and relative were shot to death. Within twenty-four hours, she heard on the radio that everybody had been told to evacuate the city. In the midst of the chaos. Khmer Rouge soldiers pushed us and shoved us throughout the trek from the our village to another village. Soon, she saw Khmer Rouge trucks were busy moving prisoners to the execution sites. Hundred of people were sent to be killed just close to her work. She also saw the Khmer Rouge killed lots of people near the rice bold soup while she stop for two to three spoons of rice per lunch.

I am a surivors still coping with the horror I suffered during the Khmer Rouge's occupation from 1975 to 1979. There were almost two million people were killed during those four years. The trial of Pol Pot has brought back painful memories.

The recent trial on Pol Pot leaders and their members has brought some relief to me and other Cambodian survivors living through the horrible time in Cambodia today in. I am looking for the justice to have done soon,  Pol Pot should have been survived to be tried by an international tribunal for crimes against humanity according to his committemt and responsibility of the death.

Bou Meng 68, Justice was not for us

Bou Meng, a survivor of Tuol Sleng prison under the Khmer Rouge, revisits the prison, which is now a museum of genocide.

Bou Meng, the short one, survived because he was a painter and was singled out from a row of shackled prisoners to produce portraits of the Khmer Rouge chief, Pol Pot.

The photographs were taken at the moment detainees were delivered to the prison, before they were stripped and fettered and tortured and sent to a killing field.

In the weeks ahead, the two survivors will take the stand to testify against their torturer, Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, and both have terrible stories to tell about a place of horror from which almost no one emerged alive.

Theary Breaking the Silence

Chea was a suvior from the genocide of Cambodia Democratic telling the real life under the Khmer Roge, her family was sent out to the village north of Siem Reap, her speach was showing the huge drauma as a young adult who saw the Khmer rouge took her parents to concentration room and killed. She was shocked. Her tear was rolling down on her face then she felt down on the dirt. This is the tragic event that she could not forget.  . she had seen many Cambodian vicitims were sent by truck to the killing field near by her village. Every day she heard sound of people was calling for help while beeing punnished and killed.

She was forced to grow rice and dig the water damp in the village with community youth from different villages, her body was swollen as not enough food.

 She didn’t want to talk about her real story at all because the death of her parents really hurt me,” She said “Only later did I feel that she should be brave to describe her story, so that she could be able to tell the yunger geration to know the real life of a Cambodian suirivor and call for the justice for parents and other Cambodians who died at that time, and also she encourages other people to be brave and speak out as well.

But such sharing can help relieve suffering and drauma,  and she hopes other survivors will stop keeping their experiences hidden.

Breaking the Silence”  hopes that it will be able to encourage the victims to be brave to speak out, such as she did,”especially surviors whose family and relatives were likked  under the  atrocities have occurred.

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