Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Phnom Penh: Tuol Sleng Prison (S-21)


Tuol Sleng Prison, known as S-21, is the one of the most haunting places I have encountered yet.




Once a high school in central Phnom Penh, S-21 was turned into a prison, torture chamber, and execution center during the Khmer Rouge's inhuman reign in Cambodia from 1975-1979.





Classrooms lined with makeshift wooden cells to hold detainees.


Barbed wire covering the front of Building C to keep prisoners from leaping to their deaths.


A room with a view.




On the inside looking out.



The infamous Khmer Rouge leader "Duch".  Recently sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity.


Durian now grows in the courtyard of the complex.





A terrifying and heart-breaking experience.  The horror is palpable and still clings to the staircase walls and thickens the air.  A very important place to learn about and feel (viscerally) the true depths of evil in the heart of Phnom Penh.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This place is truly haunting. So devastated to read what happened here 30 years ago.

P/s - don't think that is a durian fruit though. Probably jackfruit?

Gavin Pilisi said...

True! That's a jackfruit... Thanks for clearing up that inaccuracy and thanks for reading.