Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The numbers game

The above photo is reproduced courtesy of DC-Cam and shows what were believed to be the only 7 survivors
7 or 12 or 202. The number of prisoners released from Khmer Rouge incarceration at Tuol Sleng prison, aka S-21, in Phnom Penh continues to rise as new evidence comes to light, some 30 years after the fall of the secret prison where torture and death came to most of the 14,000+ inmates who passed through its gates. A report will come out this week, by two researchers working for DC-Cam, which will show that 202 survivors made it out of the door, 179 who were released between 1975 and 1978, and another 23 who got out when the Vietnamese liberated Phnom Penh at the beginning of 1979. In the years following the end of the Khmer Rouge control, it was often touted that just seven males survived the slaughter, including three who are still alive today, Vann Nath, Bou Meng and Chum Mey. More recently, additional names have been added to the original seven, including some children and at least one female, Chim Math. Now the number has risen to 202, many of whom were initially imprisoned at Tuol Sleng and were then moved to other prisons or work camps as they were not deemed important enough to remain at S-21. Surprisingly this evidence did not come to light in the UN-backed trial of S-21 commandant Duch last year.

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