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Tuol Sleng survivor in hospital

Tuol Sleng survivor in hospital

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Tuol Sleng survivor Vann Nath speaks outside the Khmer Rouge tribunal in June.

One of three living survivors of the Khmer Rouge’s notorious Toul Sleng interrogation prison, known as S-21, is receiving urgent medical attention after suffering cardiac arrest early on Saturday.

Painter Vann Nath, 66, who testified against former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, during the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s first and thus far only completed trial, suffered cardiac arrest in the early hours of Saturday, family members said. He was rushed to hospital in Phnom Penh, they said.

“The doctors are closely monitoring his illness and our family has yet to decide whether to send him abroad for treatment,” his son Vann Chan Narong said yesterday.

Vann Nath, Bou Meng and Chum Mey are thought to be the sole surviving victims of Tuol Sleng and have all spoken extensively about the brutality they experienced.  

In June last year Duch received a 35-year sentence commuted to 19 years because of time already served,  after being found guilty of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Khmer Rouge Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said he could not confirm whether Vann Nath was due to testify in the tribunal’s second and most high profile cases. The four most senior living former leaders of the regime are set to stand trial early next year.

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