Killing fields

Killing fields Cambodia

This image above was taken during a trip to Cambodia via Hong Kong in February 2005. I was accompanied by Osamu Susuki, a Japanese student studying at Yunnan Agricultural University.

The skulls are the remains of  just some of the two million victims of the Khmer Rouge who died between 1975 and 1979 . They are retained in a memorial on the site of the killing fields situated on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Kaing Guek Eav ran the Tuel Sleng prison where 12,380 people were tortured and died.  He is now on trial in a joint United Nations/Cambodian tribunal known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).  Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, was reported in one newspaper as being ‘relaxed, affable, pleasant, and respectful of the court’.

While walking slowly and silently through the pitted area of the killing fields, feet sodden from the daily monsoon downpour, it is difficult to comprehend what happened but when confronted with the sight of these skulls  the full horror of the events stare you in the face.  Then, even as the sky turns blue and the birds turn to song, it is difficult to hold back the tears.

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