Khmer Rouge Prison Cages in Cambodia.
Above Photo: The torture and prison cages underneath Brother Number 4, Ta Mok’s, “The Butcher’s” House in Anlong Veng, Cambodia.
As research for my novel, BACK, I recently visited the house of a senior Khmer Rouge cadre called Ta Mok, in Anlong Veng, the Khmer Rouge’s former headquarters after they were deposed by the Vietnamese army in 1979.
Anlong Veng is not far from the Thai border, and Ta Mok, who was Brother Number 4 in the Khmer Rouge hierarchy, built a house and lived there openly, helping to direct a Khmer Rouge war of terror while the West looked the other way and quietly let China supply the Khmer Rouge through Thailand.
As I walked around the grounds, I was shown two cages that were used by Ta Mok for keeping prisoners and torturing them. They lay below a wooden building in his compound and our local guide said they’d been regularly used and there was a man surviving in the village who’d been kept in one and interrogated for weeks.
Unfortunately for international justice, Ta Mok died before he could be tried, although recently his house in Anlong Veng was appropriately used for an outreach presentation by representatives of the international court in Phnom Penh, who are doing their best (in a deeply flawed ‘International Tribunal’ based in Phnom Penh) to try other senior Khmer Rouge leaders responsible for Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge genocide.
They’d gone to this former heartland of the Khmer Rouge to explain their work, and using Ta Mok’s house may have been intended to send a powerful message, although when we were there it was clear many locals still venerate this murdering psychopath, for some misguided reason.
For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War the Khmer Rouge and backpackers trekking into the war-ravaged jungles of Asia, see also: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/
For POWs left behind in Laos, see:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
BACK Parts 1 and 2 Reviews: