Tuol Sleng Museum

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A museum since 1980,  the former Tuol Svay Prey High School looks at first sight like any other run down urban high school but in 1975 these classrooms were converted into the notorious "Security Prison 21" or S-21.  

My visit began at a screening of a docudrama by  Cambodian  filmmaker Rithy Panh.

Bophana:  A Cambodian Tragedy 

The moving story of  Hout Bophana and Ly Sitha who met married and died at Toul Sleng unbeknownst to each other on the same day.  If possible see this movie before entering the prison.

 

 

Up closer one becomes aware of the barbed wire enclosing the buildings walkways to prevent escape and possible suicide.  

No longer electrified but still formidable.

Long dead victims still stare through the barred windows 

 

The Khmer Rouge meticulously documented the people detained and  each was photographed before being assigned to a cell. The files, photographs and negatives became separated so most of he faces you see are unidentifiable .

Some of the 15,000 + men women and children who died at the hands of their guards and torturers

 

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