Khmer Rouge executioner nets only 19 years behind bars for genocide

Decades after the Khmer Rouge regime terrorized Cambodia, one of the Khmer Rouge trials has concluded. In 1999, one of the chief executioners of the murderous regime, Kaing Guek Eav, also spelled Kang Kek Iew, or “Comrade Duch” was found and put on trial. The trial of the man who presided over more than 17,000 executions has concluded. He was credited for time served, and sentenced to 19 years. The light sentence incensed the survivors and families of victims. Source of article – Former Khmer Rouge executioner gets 19 years for genocide by Personal Money Store.

Warden for the Khmer Rouge murdered thousands

In 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia. The goal of leader Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge was to liquidate the upper and middle class, and found a collectivist farming utopia. The first to be sentenced to die were the educated, teachers, and perhaps wearing glasses carried a death sentence for appearing to be haughty and bookish. Kaing Guek Eav was the head of security for the state police, the Santebal, and was placed in charge of the notorious Tuol Sleng Prison, also called S-21. Tuol Sleng received 17,000 inmates for interrogation, torture, and execution. Of the thousands which were sent there, only 12 survived Tuol Sleng.

Discovery and detainment

When the Khmer Rouge were toppled in 1979, their personnel scattered. Pol Pot went into hiding, eventually being found and put under house arrest until his death in 1998. Other officials of the Khmer Rouge went on trial, and some still are. Kaing Guek Eav was discovered going under a pseudonym near the Cambodia-Thailand border, surrendering to authorities in 1999. A long trial process began with the Khmer Rouge tribunals. He was credited 16 years against his 35 year sentence for crimes against humanity, for 11 years served and 5 years of pre-trial detention, on July 26, 2010. He was only given 19 years for genocide, as outlined by the Christian Science Monitor.

No holiday in Cambodia

People who lived under the Khmer Rouge are appalled at the sentence, according to the BBC. Millions perished at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, and one of its chief henchmen may live to be released. One of the 3 still living survivors of Tuol Sleng, Chum Mey, was present at the trial. The Khmer Rouge murdered his wife and children. He said that “millions of people died, a lot of cash has been spent on the court – and also the perpetrator is free (in 19 years)? I’m not happy with that.”

More on this topic

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Rouge

csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/0726/Khmer-Rouge-executioner-found-guilty-but-Cambodians-say-sentence-too-light

bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-10763409

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