Most People In Charge of Tuol Sleng (S-21) Prison Came From Kompong Thom

Posted by khmernews on June 26, 2007

All the chiefs of Tuol Sleng prison or Bureau S-21 are said to come from Kompong Thom province except Som Mith Haor who came from the Special Zone.

According to documents, Duch, head of Tuol Sleng prison, was born in Stoung, Kompong Thom while his deputy Morm Nay had been a former director of Balangk Kompong Thom High School in around 1958. Besides Duch and Morm Nay, Nat also came from Kampong Thom. He had used to work as electrician in Kompong Thom and later became an important man in the security of Duch’s Bureau S-21. In 1967, Duch and Morm Nay were imprisoned together for their communist movement.

After being released, Duch and Morm Nay became chiefs of security in the forest in Kompong Speu province. After the victory on April 17, 1975, Duch’s security officers moved to Phnom Penh and camped in a Catholic church. There were 154 prisoners at that time, but only one survived. The one was Hem Sambath. It was likely because the church was too small for those prisoners that Sambath was lucky to stay alive.  Son Sen was the one who gave order to Duch, Morm Nay, and Nat, who were all from Kampong Thom province. In January, 1976, Bureau S-21 was moved from the Catholic church in Phnom Penh to Ta Kmao. In March, Duch selected 20 prison guards.

In June, 1976, Bureau S-21 was moved to former Tuol Svay Prey High School and was called “Tuol Sleng”. Those buildings could keep up to 1,500 prisoners. In early-1977, Tuol Sleng had 111 prison guards. Like [Som Mith] Haor, most of the guards came from Region 25 and other regions in the Special Zone. They might have thought that the Central Committee had chosen them to work there not only because of their origin but also because of their age.

Amongst the 111 guards, 82 guards were aged from 17 to 21. Fewer than 10 of the guards joint the revolution before April, 1973 while only two worked in the security sphere since before 1975. It was these people who captured cadres to put in prison and executed them without any hesitation.

Although most of the important chiefs of security were from Kompong Thom province, Morm Nay and others including Nat, who no documents can prove whether he is still alive or lost, are all said to have been killed by Duch.

Informal Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, vol. 15, #4313, Sunday-Monday, June 17-18, 2007.


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