Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Nic Dunlop's Q&A session at Meta House tonight began with a recent filmed report he completed for Al Jazeera News when he delved into the history of one of the prisons that preceded S-21, hoping to find a connection to Comrade Duch, currently on trial here in Phnom Penh. It was Dunlop who unmasked Duch in the remote town of Samlot in 1999 and who, alongwith Nate Thayer, brought it to worldwide attention that the former chief of S-21 was alive and well and had converted to christianity. This led onto Duch's arrest by the government and his trial a decade later, and also to Dunlop's fine book, The Lost Executioner. This time Dunlop's investigations took him to the site of a prison known as M-99, located in the wilderness of Kompong Speu province and long forgotten by anyone, except those who had lost loved ones at the prison. His interviews revealed never-before heard testimony from survivors and emphasized the sad fact that few in the countryside knew that the Khmer Rouge Tribunals were even taking place. After the film, Dunlop took questions from the floor of tonight's packed-out session, that included Al Rockoff and Henri Locard, that ranged from who decides who will be tried by the Tribunal to did anything in Duch's past foretell his role as a mass murderer? It was clear from the audience's interest that more nights like this at Meta House would go down well. To find out more from Nic Dunlop, click here.