PHNOM PENH —
The UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal and Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture have agreed to build a memorial to victims of a brutal torture center in the middle of Phnom Penh.
The memorial Buddhist stupa will be built on the grounds of the former center of Tuol Sleng, which is now a war crimes museum. Khmer Rouge survivors have called for such memorials, as well as mental health facilities, as a type of reparation for Khmer Rouge atrocity crimes.
Tuol Sleng, known to the Khmer Rouge as S-21, was the regime’s most notorious security center, where at least 12,000 accused “enemies” of the regime where sent to be tortured and executed.
The center’s Khmer Rouge supervisor, Comrade Duch, was sentenced to life in prison by the tribunal for his role in its operation.
Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the Tuol Sleng stupa marked a reparation effort “beside the court procedures.”
Hap Touch, director general of the heritage department of the Ministry of Culture, said dimensions of the stupa were still to be discussed, “and whether we have to carve the names of the victims on it.”
Tuol Sleng survivor Chum Mey said victims had been requesting the stupa “for a long time.”