Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - S-21 director Duch ‘hospitalised’




S-21 director Duch ‘hospitalised’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Duch, real name Kaing Guek Eav, speaks at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in Phnom Penh on June 15, 2010. ECCC

S-21 director Duch ‘hospitalised’

Duch, the former director of the Khmer Rouge’s S-21 interrogation centre in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sleng, has been taken to a hospital in the capital with respiratory problems, reports said on Wednesday.

In 2010, Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, became the first senior Khmer Rouge figure to be found guilty of crimes committed under the genocidal regime more than 30 years ago.

Chat Sineang, the director of the Kandal prison where he is serving his sentence, told AFP that Duch had been undergoing treatment for respiratory problems since October 20, and was moved from a provincial treatment facility to the capital.

“He is still at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital,” Sineang said, describing Duch’s condition as “quite serious because he is 76 now”.

He later said that Duch’s health had deteriorated by Wednesday afternoon, and he was taken to intensive care.

Judges at the UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia sentenced Duch to 35 years in prison. However, his term was reduced by five years after it ruled he had been illegally detained by a military court following his arrest in 1999.

In 2012, Duch had his prison sentence increased to life in an appeal ruling by the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s highest judicial chamber.

He was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role at S-21, the regime’s most important interrogation centre where as many as 16,000 men, women and children were brutalised before being systematically exterminated.

Only 14 people are known to have survived Tuol Sleng, which under Duch’s meticulous and rigid hand evolved into an efficient killing machine that came to symbolise the worst excesses of the Khmer Rouge.

Entire families were imprisoned for the alleged crimes of a single member.

On a single day in 1977 alone, Duch ordered the executions of 160 children.

The period witnessed one of the 20th century’s worst tragedies, with an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians dying of disease, exhaustion, overwork, torture or execution.

S-21 is now a museum commemorating the horrors that were committed in the former school.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to