Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ieng Thirith dependent on feeding tube: son



Ieng Thirith dependent on feeding tube: son

Ieng Thirith, the former Khmer Rouge minister of social affairs, during a pretrial hearing before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in April 2010.
Ieng Thirith, the former Khmer Rouge minister of social affairs, during a pretrial hearing before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in April 2010. ECCC

Ieng Thirith dependent on feeding tube: son

The health of former Khmer Rouge minister of social affairs and former war crimes tribunal defendant Ieng Thirith has deteriorated to the point that she requires oxygen and a feeding tube just to stay alive, her son said on Wednesday.

Thirith, 82, has been hospitalised in Thailand since March. Rather than improving, her condition actually seems to be worsening, raising doubts as to whether she will ever return, according to her son Ieng Vuth, the deputy governor of Pailin province.

“Her condition is bad, and [her health] is not coming back. The doctors claim it’s difficult to treat her due to her old age,” Vuth said.

“I don’t know what to do now; [I can] only keep her in treatment there. She cannot eat or drink.… She is in bad condition now, because she can only rely on the [feeding] tube and oxygen.”

Thirith has remained under judicial supervision since her provisional release in September 2012, when the court ruled that her advancing dementia rendered her unfit to stand trial. Proceedings against her husband, ex-Khmer Rouge minister of foreign affairs Ieng Sary, were terminated in March last year, when the 87-year-old died of heart failure in Phnom Penh after two weeks in hospital.

Sary and Thirith were two of a handful of senior leaders who served under Pol Pot at the helm of the Democratic Kampuchea regime, which came to power in the mid-1970s and introduced an agriculturally driven revolution that killed upwards of 1.7 million people.

The married couple and two other senior officials were arrested and brought to trial for Case 002 to face charges of crimes against humanity and genocide, among others.

The Khmer Rouge tribunal is expected to deliver a verdict in the first phase

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese