According to today’s cover story in the Independent, leading Khmer Rouge member Comrade Duch has been charged with crimes against humanity by a UN-backed tribunal in Cambodia. Duch (real name Kaing Guek Eav) is a former mathematics teacher who became commandant of Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh and thus oversaw the deaths of 20,000 people during the Khmer Rouge’s bloody regime.
It has taken a long time to start bringing Duch to justice. Much of his story is chronicled in Nic Dunlop’s gripping article, “On the trail of Pol Pot’s chief executioner.” Dunlop, a photographer and writer, was the person who tracked down Duch in 1999. His article is one of the best pieces of reportage Prospect has published, and you can read it here. Dunlop has since written a book, “The Lost Executioner,” which we reviewed last year.