Comrade Touch, a former senior member of the Khmer Rouge convicted of crimes against humanity in Cambodia, has died.
UN He was serving a life sentence after being sentenced by a support court.
King Quick Eve, also known as Comrade Touch, ran the infamous Tool Sleng prison where thousands of people were tortured and murdered in the late 1970s.
Two million people are believed to have died under the Khmer Rouge, the Maoist regime that controlled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.
In 2010, the UN. Dutch was the first senior Khmer Rouge leader to be convicted of crimes against humanity by a support court.
He died Wednesday, at the age of 77, a spokesman for the tribunal said, without giving details of the cause. He was unwell for many years.
“Touch died at 00:52 this morning at a Khmer Soviet friendly hospital on September 2. I can’t tell you the details of what he died for,” said Khmer Rouge spokesman Nate Pictra.
What happened in Duol Sleng prison?
Comrade Touch ran the S-21 prison, also known as Duol Sleng, the site of the worst torture during the Khmer Rouge regime.
It is estimated that at least 15,000 men, women and children who are considered enemies of the regime passed through the gates of the former school.
Most of them were tortured, forced to confess to fictitious crimes against the Khmer Rouge, and then called the killing fields outside the capital, Phnom Penh.
The detainees are initially suspected of being unfaithful to officials of the old government, those accused of being middle class and later mainly members of the Khmer Rouge.
The guards, who were mostly teenagers, forced the prisoners to write detailed confessions to whatever they were accused of, and then imprisoned friends and family.
Survivors of the torture were eventually taken to the “killing fields” in Choyung Ek, where they were killed, sometimes after digging their own mass graves.
Fewer than a dozen prisoners escaped the Duol Sleng.
During his interrogation, Touch admitted that he was responsible for the S-21 and apologized for his role in the atrocities.
He then stated that he would only follow the orders, but on that basis his appeal was rejected by the tribunal.
Who is Khmer Rouge?
The brutal Khmer Rouge, which ruled from 1975-1979, killed about two million people.
The Pol Pot-led regime sought to bring Cambodia back to the Middle Ages, forcing millions of people from cities to work on communal farms in rural areas.
They targeted “intellectuals” who were identified as wearing glasses.
The regime was overthrown by Vietnamese troops in 1979, but Khmer Rouge leaders escaped and disappeared into the remote border.
The UN helped set up a tribunal to try the surviving leaders, which began operations in 2009.
Only three former Khmer Rouge have been convicted so far – Comrade Touch, the regime’s head of state Q Sampan and Pol Pot’s second – in – command Noon C.
Who is Comrade Touch?
Touch was born in the early 1940s. He was a teacher, but joined the Communist Party and his left-wing activity led to a brush with the authorities.
When the Vietnam War threatened to pour into neighboring Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge joined Communist rebels under Dutch leader Pol Pot.
After the rebels seized control in 1975, he became the director of Duol Sleng.
When a Vietnamese invasion forced Khmer Rouge out of power in 1979, he fled to the countryside near the Thai border with other ousted leaders.
He lived under a false name and was identified in 1999 by a journalist. In subsequent interviews, he acknowledged the atrocities in Duol Sleng, but said the orders came from Khmer Rouge’s central committee.
“The detainee must die. It is the rule of our party,” he said. “We had a responsibility to inquire into the party’s central committee and make a confession.”
Ten years later, the UN. Facing a supportive tribunal, he described himself as “deeply saddened” and apologized to relatives of the victims.
In the final days of his trial, he was asked to be released on the grounds that he was not a senior member of the Khmer Rouge line.
Relatives of the victims said it was a mockery of his grievances.