A glimpse of the atrocities committed by Khmer Rouge at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

A remnant skull on display at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It was from the atrocious Khmer Rouge period from 1975 to 1979.

The stacked collection of skeletons, the bare steel bed frames against the hollow marbled-floor rooms and the eerie silence of the ghastly stained walls really provided everyone that visits the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum a glimpse of the atrocity committed by Pol Pot, the leader of the former “Democratic Kampuchea” from 1975 to 1979. This dreadful prison was the equivalent to the Nazi concentration camp where prisoners were detained, interrogated, inhumanly tortured and killed after confession were forced and documented from them.

The prison was formerly the Tuol Sleng Primary School and Toul Svay Prey High School and was also known as Office 21 or S-21. The classrooms were turned into either small prison cells measuring 0.8 x 2 meters for individual prisoners or larger 6 x 4 meters rooms that were each furnished with a very “comfortable” bed for the purpose of torture and killing.

Below are the excerpts from the official document provided by the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum:

Today it is compulsory to preserve the Archives, Evidences of the bloody regime and remember the oppression, anguish and suffering caused by “Khmer Rouge”.

Keeping the memory of the atrocities committed on Cambodia soil alive is the key to build a new, strong and just state.

Furthermore, making the crimes of the inhuman regime of Khmer Rouge public, plays crucial role in preventing new Pol Pot from emerging in the lands of Angkor or anywhere on Earth.

A torture bed as seen from behind the rusty prison bars at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

The infamous steel bed comes with the dreaded accessories: the legs and hands shackle and the steel box for the storage of bodily waste.

If only the ghastly stained walls could speak.... it would scream thousand and one horror stories that would speak up on behalf of the tortured victims.

It's hard to imagine that a classroom - where children learn and adult teach - could be used for such sinister purpose as to force political, professionals and intellectuals prisoners to confess and then be killed.

It's hard to believe that this place is not haunted.... considering the many violent and painful deaths and the many wandering souls that never found peaceful and final closure.

A closer look at the 0.8 x 2 meters cubicles built to house individual prisoners.

In order to save ammunition and to inflict the most pain, the tortures and executions were often carried out using hammers, axes, spades, spears, sharpened bamboo sticks, and other everyday farm tools. Sometimes snakes and other deadly insects were also used by the warden to bully the prisoners into submission.

Another look at the accessories used for the torture and killing.

A wooden torture platform that comes with legs and hands shackle plus the home-made water drowning bucket.

Photographs of men and women, taken and documented before they were systematically tortured and killed - as seen behind the bars.

An estimated 2 to 2.5 million people were killed during the Khmer Rouge rule and it was described as one of the greatest crime against humanity and "the purest genocide of the cold war era".


A model demonstrating how the fishnet of barbed wire stopped the prisoners from escaping and also from committing suicide by jumping down from the higher floors.


  1. Wow, the model in your last photo looks happy even though she looks as if she kena caught…

    • Haha…. yup… the model kena forced to pose for the photographer….. and get extra pocket money for one week…. thus the happy face…… 🙂

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