Near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, February 17, 2009.
Thirty years after the end of the brutal Cambodian revolution of the Khmer Rouge, the first international genocide tribunal was convened in Phnom Penh on February 17, 2009 to try Duch, the head of Tuol Sleng Prison where over 18,000 Cambodians died from 1975-79. Up until this point, most Cambodians just endured living with their ghosts, never feeling a sense of closure or cultural permission to grieve their losses. After leaving the Killing Fields memorial about 12 kilometers outside of Phnom Penh, where thousands of Cambodians were killed between ’75 and ’79 during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime, this young girl was running after the car begging for money. This is one of about 20,000 killing fields, with mass graves, that were discovered for years after the regime fell.