Duch, Khmer Rouge torturer, dies aged 77

PHNOM PENH: The chief torturer behind Cambodia’s genocidal Khmer Rouge died on Wednesday while serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity, leaving just one surviving leader of the regime that killed an estimated two million people in the 1970s.
Kaing Guek Eav, 77, better known by his alias Duch, served as the head of the infamous Tuol Sleng prison in the late 1970s and was convicted of crimes against humanity in 2012 by a UN-backed tribunal for his role in the “Killing Fields” regime. His death leaves Khieu Samphan, the head of state and de facto public face of the regime, as the sole surviving Khmer Rouge member convicted by the tribunal.
“The souls of the victims and my parents have received justice,” Norng Chan Phal, who survived internment at Tuol Sleng as a child, said outside what is now a memorial centre.
Duch had been in and out of hospital for years and was admitted again this week, tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. According to a doctor’s letter confirming his death shown to AFP, Duch had symptoms of “acute respiratory distress”. — AFP