Monday, July 26, 2010

Tears and disbelief at Duch verdict

July 26, 2010

The idea that a man who admitted overseeing the torture and murder of thousands of people might be free in 19 years was too much for some people who lived through the horrors of the Pol Pot era.

At least one man left the court in disgust on hearing the sentence.

Chum Mey has more reason than most to feel bitter. He was held in the S-21 detention centre which Comrade Duch ran, and suffered regular torture; his wife and children were killed.

Now he is one of only three confirmed living survivors of around 15,000 inmates.

On the steps outside the court, he vented his frustration.

"I ask if Cambodians are happy and the world is happy that millions of people died, a lot of money has been spent on the court - and the perpetrator is free [in 19 years]? I am not happy with that," he said.