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What do you think about the death of Vann Nath, who was an artist during the Khmer Rouge regime?

Youth forum
What do you think about the death of Vann Nath, who was an artist during the Khmer Rouge regime?



Chhun Phanharath. an 18-year-old sophomore at the Royal University of Phnom Penh
“I don’t know much about Vann Nath’s background, but I know he was a talented  artist. He had lived through the Pol Pot regime and survived Toul Sleng prison, so he was able to describe many terrible things through his paintings. Many of the things he painted are on view to the public at Toul Sleng prison. Many  things that occurred there have not been depicted yet, so my generation will not have a chance to know more about them. Vann Nath was also an  important witness at the ECCC trials.”


Ban Botreynisa, an 18-year-old IT student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh
“Everyone wants to know more about the things that happened during Pol Pot’s regime. People of  our generation must know about, and understand, those events in order to prevent such things happening again. With the death of Vann Nath, we have lost a witness to  important events. Without him and his pictures, we will never be able to fully understand the hard times during that regime. He was one of the most important people in Cambodia, so I am really sad to hear of  his death.”


Orm Sokheang, a 21-year-old freshman student at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC)
“Vann Nath was a living witness for the Extraordinary Chamber Court of Cambodia. With his death, we have lost important evidence of events that happened during Pol Pot’s regime. I am sorry he has died, and I am so disappointed  he didn’t live until the end of the trial and be a witness to prove the suffering he and others endured during that regime.”


Sar Somrithika, a 19-year-old freshman student at the Institute of Foreign Language (IFL)
“I am sorry to hear about the death of Vann Nath. His drawings played an important role in letting everyone know about the things that happened in Toul Sleng prison (S21) during the Khmer Rouge regime. Without his pictures, people of our  generation would not know about the suffering and terrible events a previous generation endured during that regime.”


Thon Varin, a 32-year-old artist
“As an artist, I was horrified to hear of Vann Nath’s death. He was greatly admired in Cambodia, by artists and ordinary people alike. While he was alive, he painted many pictures illustrating the activities in Toul Sleng prison. With his death, we have lost a lot of  information that could have been presented as evidence in trials at the ECCC. I was so proud of Vann Nath, and I would like to offer my condolences to his family.”

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