Phnom Penh: The Prison

Walking through a row of cells in Prison S-21 of Phnom Penh

After spending a better part of our day in the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek near Phnom Penh, our tuk-tuk driver, Pom brought us to the Tuol Sleng Genocide museum, more commonly known as the S-21 prison. During the Khmer Rouge regime of late 1970s, all the Cambodian prisoners were brought here to be tortured. Our guide walked us through this former high school, telling us about the atrocities that were committed here. But it’s not his words that break your heart, its the fact that every preserved artifact, marks on the walls and dried blood drops on the floor are a sad story of their own.

Even though my hands were trembling from the horror of what I was witnessing coupled with heat exhaustion, I turned on my camera and captured everything I could in this historically important, but scary place. Also read about Sachin Seth‘s impressions of S-21 on his blog.

And here is part two of the two part series from Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

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Phnom Penh: The Fields

About 15 kilometers southwest of Phnom Penh are the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. During the Khmer Rouge Regime of 1970s that killed an estimated 1.7 million, many prisoners were brutally murdered in these fields. This peaceful and quiet location has been the sight of the cruel genocide of Pol Pot’s regime and to remember those who lost their lives, the Cambodian government has built a 17-story memorial stupa, which displays skulls and bones that are still being dug out daily from these fields.

Skulls of the victims in the memorial stupa at the Killing Fields. There are more than 800 skulls in this stupa.

No photo can do justice to the heart-wrenching emotion evoked by the sadness of the fields. We tried to capture the experience of walking through these grounds on video and but nothing compares to being present there and hearing about the tragedies from people, directly affected by it.

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