A special Buddhist ceremony has been held at a notorious former Khmer Rouge prison in Phnom Penh, on the eve of a court verdict in the trial of the jail’s former head.
Hundreds of Cambodian survivors and relatives of those killed there gathered at the site in remembrance.
Thousands were tortured and executed at the S-21 detention centre during Pol Pot’s regime in the late 1970s.
The man known as Comrade Duch, the first of five Khmer Rouge figures to stand trial, is accused of crimes against humanity, torture and pre-meditated murder.
Chum Mey used his skills as an engineer to make himself indispensable to the jail and avoid being killed. “If the verdict is the maximum life imprisonment, I’ll be very happy and the survivors will be relieved,” he said.
During the trial Comrade Duch admitted supervising the torture and execution of thousands of prisoners at the S-21 jail. Later he converted to Christianity and became a lay pastor, but many Cambodians are sceptical of his apparent remorse.
S-21’s inmates were deemed the Khmer Rouge’s worst enemies. Only a handful including some children were found alive when Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia in 1979.
The prison’s victims were the tip of the iceberg. Across the country 1.7 million people – a quarter of the population – perished through starvation, disease, torture and execution.
The verdict will be the first ruling of the special court, much criticised for its bureaucracy and slow progress.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 3Now is ‘right time’ for Catalonia independence vote, says Mas | euronews, world news
- 4Vatican rocked by another paedophilia scandal | euronews, world news
- 5Two container ships collide on Egypt’s Suez Canal | euronews, no comment
- 6British Muslims’ message to ISIL: Not in my name! | euronews, world news
- 7Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up | euronews, world news
- 8Sweden becomes first European nation to recognise Palestine | euronews, world news
- 9Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel | euronews, world news
- 10Emma Watson threatened with naked photos leak after UN equality speech | euronews, world news
- 11How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad | euronews, world news
- 12Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’ | euronews, world news
- 13Learning through “serious games” | euronews, learning world
- 14International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 15euronews speaks to Ban Ki-moon ahead of key UN and climate change talks | euronews, the global conversation
- 16Ebola: Six new suspected cases in Spain | euronews, world news
- 17European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 18Thousands ‘evade’ Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone | euronews, world news
- 19Mike Tyson: ‘You learn humbleness when you get older in life’ | euronews, the global conversation
- 20US delivers technical aid to Ukraine but warns over security | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 02:16 CET Canada police kill ‘radicalised’ driver after he rams two soldiers
- 02:03 CET Unfinished war in Sri Lanka threatens paradise regained
- 01:55 CET Total CEO Christophe de Margerie killed in Moscow plane accident -…
- 01:54 CET South Sudan sexual violence ‘rampant,’ two-year-old raped – U.N.
- 01:34 CET Polls shows Rousseff gaining momentum as Brazil election nears
- 01:20 CET Former Australian PM Gough Whitlam dies at 98
- 23:09 CET Polish ex-minister quoted saying Putin offered to divide Ukraine…
- 22:53 CET Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to…