Monday, February 1, 2010

Who are they?

This doesn't look anything like the usual S21 portrait. I'm informed this is Aussie David Scott.
Everytime I go to Tuol Sleng I see their pictures. Yet I still have no idea who they are. Their faces have been staring back at me for years. Maybe, many moons ago the Tuol Sleng archivists pasted their names next to their mugshots, but today there's nothing to say who they are. I'm talking about the handful of pictures of foreigners interrogated and then murdered at S21. I'm sure that in my earlier visits to S21, when the photographs were attached directly to the walls, instead of inside the glass-fronted display cases as they are now, there were other photos displayed as well as confessions, and more. Afterall, it is a museum, so the exhibits have been changed over the course of time. However, I still think, at least as a mark of respect, if the names of individuals are known, they should be displayed next to the picture. The folks at DC Cam have established the names of foreigners killed at S-21 from the meticulous archives kept by the Khmer Rouge staffers, and these include Westerners as well as other nationalities and many Vietnamese and Thai nationals too. Below are the names of the Westerners. I'm sure someone will be able to pinpoint exactly who is who among the half a dozen photos posted at Tuol Sleng, so please let me know, so I can post the names here. The portraits were usually taken as the prisoners arrived at S21 and before their pointless interrogation took place, with death usually following soon after.
Ronald Keith Dean, Australian
David Lloyd Scott, Australian
John Dawson Dewhirst, British
Harard Bernard, French
Rovin Bernard, French
Andre Gaston Courtigne, French
Kerry George Hamill, New Zealand
James William Clark, USA
Michael Scott Deeds, USA
Christopher Edward Deland, USA
Lance MacNamara, USA
Does you recognise this portrait?
None of those being photographed had any idea about their fate
One of the six Western face portraits on display at S21
Another prisoner portrait taken from the display photographs in Building B
The photos of half a dozen Westerners can be found on the walls of Tuol Sleng. Who are they?

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Blogger Tom Farrell said...

I am guessing that the top three and bottom mugshots are of Indian/Pakistani prisoners in S-21. I met a relative of one of the US prisoners in Cambodia and I have a photo of McNamara and Clark on a beach together in Hawaai around Christmas 1977, four or five months before they set off on the Mary K to the Gulf of Thailand. Neither closely resembles these mug shots (Lance McNamara had blonde hair). They do not show John Dewhirst whose photo was on the wall at one point or Kerry Hamill whose photo I have also seen. The second last photo looks more European (a Franco-Khmer? one of the Bernard brothers?) There is the possibility that a few other westerners entered the prison. Although every last foreigner in Phnom Penh was ordered to the French embassy on April 17 1975, even those that didn't want to leave, I've heard rumours that three or four European women went out into the countryside with their Khmer husbands when the Khmer Rouge forced the Cambodians from the embassy. Although they might have died of disease or malnutrition, it's hard to imagine caucasian women being allowed work in the communes. One would imagine the 'Santebal' arresting them pretty sharpish. There is a report that a former S-21 guard saw a Swiss man and a Cuban enter the prison in 1977 though this is hard to verify. No names have been cited

April 10, 2010 7:56 AM  

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