Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two Things

This morning, two things crowd my mind.

First, the verdict in the Khmer Rouge trials came down, the first in a series of trials. After surviving 30 years of impunity, Kaing Guek Eav (a.k.a. Duch or Comrade Duch), the Khmer Rouge leader who was responsible for the murders of more than 14,000 people and who ran S21, the high-school-turned-torture-prison, which, incidentally, I live near (oh yeah, some pictures of the prison and victims above), was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to 35 years. Not unlike many Khmer and non-Khmer across the country who anticipated this day, we crouched in front of our television in the morning sun, sipping on hot tea and allowing the fan to cool us down, while we tried to pick words out of the judgment. Mainly, however, I stared at his face on the gritty television screen, the wrinkled face of a 67-year-old man, now frail-looking and silent, dwarfed by the black computer monitor placed before him, who committed some of the most monstrous acts I've ever heard of.

Second, I'm still thinking about my escape from Rabbit Island. Oh my.

P.S. The Court took into account his years served while awaiting this trial, so he may be out in less than 19 years.

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