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Van Tay joins hunt for S-21 children

Van Tay joins hunt for S-21 children

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090212_05_3.jpg

Vietnamese photographer says he will help DC-Cam find the four children, believed to be alive.

Photo by:
LONG DANY/DOCUMENTATION CENTRE OF CAMBODIA

Vietnamese photographer Ho Van Tay will come to Phnom Penh on Saturday.

FORMER Vietnamese soldier and photographer Van Tay is to travel Saturday to Phnom Penh to help researchers look for four former child prisoners of Tuol Sleng prison thought to be alive and living in Cambodia.

"We have received contact from [people believed to be the child victims], but we have not yet concluded that they are the real victims or not. Some of them are in Battambang and Kampong Thom provinces," Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam), told the Post Wednesday.

"We will work with Vietnamese photographer Van Tay to find these children because he has had contact with one of the five children," he added.

The children were identified by DC-Cam in recently obtained archival footage donated by the Vietnamese government in late December. The footage will be used as key evidence in the upcoming trial of Kaing Guek Eav, the former prison's head, despite being obtained a week after prosecutors had already submitted the list of exhibits they planned to use during the trial.

Youk Chhang said that he had been "informed" that four of the five children from the video footage had escaped from S-21 and were still alive. One of them, the youngest, had died, he added.

"Van Tay has some documents and has had contact with one of the boys, and we hope that we can accelerate our work to identify these child victims," Youk Chhang said.

"We invite Van Tay to come to Cambodia to participate in the research of S-21 history," he said, adding that Van Tay would attend next week's hearing of the prison chief, known as Duch.

As the first person to enter the prison with a camera after the Vietnamese overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1979, Van Tay's photographs, which capture the bodies of prisoners still chained to iron beds, will also be pivotal evidence in Duch's trial.

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