In Photos: A walk through Cambodia’s Killing Fields

The Cambodian Genocide is one of the most overlooked crimes in history. We have all heard about Hitler and the terror he caused in the 1940s, yet not many know about the atrocities that took place in Cambodia less than 30 years ago, making it Asia’s most horrific genocide till date.

Incarceration, starvation, forced labor, inhumane torture, live burials, mass executions – these are just some of the brutalities the Cambodians were subjected to from 1975 to 1979. In this four year period, the Khmer Rouge, under the leadership of Pol Pot, massacred more than 2 million civilians (almost one fourth of the country’s population) at various sites all over the country, which are now commonly known as the ‘Killing Fields‘.

Through my lens, let’s take a walk through one of these fields at Choeung Ek (near Phnom Penh) and see what really happened.

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Welcome to the Killing Fields, Phnom Penh

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The sharp and jagged branches of this tree were used by executioners to slit throats

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Executioners would hold babies and children by their feet, and swing them against the tree, beating them to death

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Bodies were dumped together in mass graves – some alive, some dead

And what was even the purpose of all this? Apparently, it was to get rid of what was ‘rotten’ in the country, which referred to intellectuals, businessmen, foreigners and minorities.

The genocide is over today, but the country is still reeling from the repercussions of this nightmarish tragedy. And what is even more disheartening is that the perpetrators have not been convicted and brought to justice.
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