A visit to the Killing Fields of Cambodia and the infamous S21 detention centre is not a pleasant experience. It is traumatic. It is upsetting. It is incredible how again and again these atrocities occur – despite the fact that we believe we learn from history and recite the mantra – Never Again.
The detention centre in Phnom Penh – S21 – used to be a high school. Pol Pot’s regime turned it into a chamber of horrors and the evidence is still there – the shackles, the horrific photographs. Only 7 people survived by the time the Vietnamese arrived and I had the honour to meet one of them. Now in his 80’s Chum Manh speaks little English but he does know a few words – like electric shock. He explained to me by sign language and a few words how he was tortured by shock treatment in his ear. He also showed me his knuckles and slid off his shoes to show me his feet where he had been tortured. He has been a witness in the trials of the leaders of the Pol Pot regime.
His story and the stories of all the Cambodian people should be treasured and perhaps one day in the future we will be able to realise the dream of Never Again… Slide show of our photos Genocide Cambodia