Man or Monster?: The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer
Alexander Laban Hinton is Founding Director, Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights and Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. He is coeditor of Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America, also published by Duke University Press, and author of the award-winning Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide.
Subordinate: (Establishment of S-21)
This chapter traces Duch’s path from M-13, which was closed at the end of the war, to S-21, which was established around August 1975. Son Sen, a leading Democratic Kampuchea official and Duch’s superior, assigned Duch to be the deputy head of S-21 under Nat. During the early phase of S-21, as Nat ran the security center, which changed location several times, Duch oversaw interrogations. Duch and Nat appear to have been competitive as the first waves of prisoners, many of whom were former members of the old regime, passed through the gates of S-21 before interrogation and execution. Ultimately, Duch won the competition with Nat, who came under suspicion. In March 1976, Nat was transferred, and Duch took over as the chief of S-21.