Khmer Rouge prison chief asks for forgiveness

31/03/2009 12:06:53 AM

PHNOM PENH: A former teacher accused of carrying out the murderous policies of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge has gone on trial as prosecutors opened their first case against the hard-core communists who turned the country into a killing field.

A UN-assisted genocide tribunal has charged 66-year-old Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, with committing crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as torture and homicide. The tribunal is seeking to establish responsibility for the group's brutal 1975-79 misrule of the country under Pol Pot, the group's leader who died in 1998.

An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died of starvation, medical neglect, slave-like working conditions and execution under the Khmer Rouge.

Duch ran the group's main prison, the notorious torture centre known as S-21, or Tuol Sleng. He is the first member of the Khmer Rouge to face trial for the regime's atrocities, and also the only one to express remorse for his role.

Duch's French lawyer, Francois Roux, said during a procedural hearing that his client wished "to ask forgiveness from the victims, but also from the Cambodian people. He will do so publicly".

Duch recorded the treatment of each prisoner in thousands of documents. One shows his signature on a list of prisoners, with the words "Kill them all".

"The Khmer Rouge were ruthless. Please don't free [their leaders] even if they admit their role," a tearful survivor, Om Chantha, said as the trial began.

She was one of hundreds of survivors or people mourning loved ones who queued at the court to see Duch face trial.

"I am excited to see Duch in court," said Ou Cath, who lost five brothers under the regime.

"Justice that I have been waiting for so long is coming."

Associated Press, Agence France-Presse

Increase Text Size
Decrease Text Size

Secure your VIP ticket today at www.cambodianmusicfestival.com and join us in counting down to a night full of exclusive private performances, music, and art in one of the most breathtaking venues in Laguna Beach!

$200/person - one VIP ticket gives you access to VIP Pre-Party at 7 Degrees in Laguna Beach on Friday, 7/24/15 AND reserved seating within the first ten rows at the Cambodian Music Festival in Anaheim at the Pearson Park Amphitheater on Saturday, 7/25/15.

($50/person - General admission to the Cambodian Music Festival)

**Even though you are purchasing your ticket online, you will still receive your physical ticket in the mail. Ticket must be presented at the day of the music festival to gain entry. 

CAMBODIA TOWN FILM FETIVAL 2015 tickets now on sale GET IT NOW!

One of the key purposes of Cambodian Town Film Festival (CTTF) is to highlight the diversity of the Cambodian experience through the art of filmmaking. By specifically featuring films that deal with Cambodian social political conflicts, traditions, challenges and characters, the Festival will deepen Cambodian values and encourage new dialogue on a global scale. THE CLOCK IS COUNTING DOWN TO OUR EVENT >>>  BUY TICKETS NOW - CLICK HERE 

COLLECTOR DIGITAL ART to Honor the 40 Year Remembrance of the Khmer Rouge's invasion of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The artwork is printed on a high gloss wooden board and make a great wall art decoration. *Collector's Edition - ONLY (40) are printed and signed by the artist. BUY IT NOW (CLICK HERE) 

Angkor Wat Starry Night Reprints

Angkor Wat Starry Night Canvas Print 11x17

These are reproduction of an oil painting done by Ponnamy Kiep reprinted on a canvas with a theme inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night.

In Remembrance of 40 Years CTFF Limited Collector's Edition Dog Tag - Only $10 - CLICK HERE

April 17, 1975 is a day all Cambodians remember. It was the day the Khmer Rouge regime overtook Phnom Penh, an event that ignited a horrific genocide that killed nearly 2 million innocent lives and affected an infinite more.

In rememberance of all those that fought for freedom, those who survived, and those we have lost, Cambodia Town Film Festival has created this Limited Collector's Edition Dog Tag.

PAULINA a film by Caylee So
Now on DVD, own this Award Winning film for only $10 - Click Here

Immersed in a vibrant world where bets and wagers are a part of everyday living, 17 year old Paulina has found herself attracted to the game; a love understood and shared by her father, Sam, and an avid community of Cambodian gamblers. Met with strong disapproval from her sister Sopheap, Paulina remains strongly tied to the community. But soon she finds herself in the midst of her father’s war with addiction, and the realities of this world is unmasked; Paulina must inevitably choose between the world she is drawn to and the life she might someday want.

Site Mailing List  Sign Guest Book  View Guest Book