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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hasten Duch trial: victim

Hasten Duch trial: victim

WHEN Rin was a young woman, she lost her sister to the S-21 prison. Thirty years on, the 52-year-old, who is terminally ill, worries that legal delays will now deprive her on her only chance of finding justice.

"I want to request that [former S-21 jailor] Duch be put on trial as soon as possible, otherwise I may not live to see justice," she told the Post at her Svay Rieng home.

Rin, who cannot be fully identified for legal reasons, is confined to a wheelchair by  disease. For years she has dreamt of confronting the Khmer Rouge torture chief Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, in person, but she now doubts she will even be well enough to attend his trial, expected in October.

In 2005, Rin discovered her missing sister was one of the 14,000 people tortured and killed at Tuol Sleng prison. She applied to have the power of a civil party because she wanted to participate directly in the trial of her sister's alleged killer.

Terith Chy, team leader of the victim participation project at the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), said many civil parties "want [the trials] to go faster," he said.

Rin, who also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, says living to see Duch tried will give her closure. "If I live to see the court bring justice, I will die peacefully."

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