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.


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.