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About 14000 (maybe up to 30000) prisoners were held here. Even children were imprisoned. Only a few prisoners survived. It was never a matter of founding out if anybody did anything wrong. That was already decided when you were arrested. Now a confession would be forced from the prisoner, most often under severe torture.

After that the prisoners were taken to what is now known as the Killing Fields where they were beaten to death and thrown into massgraves.
Everything was photographed and carefully documented and much of it was left behind when the Vietnamese invaded.

The head of Tuol Sleng was Kaing Guek Eav, often called Duch. He was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes. He died in prison September 2 2020.


Tuol Sleng - a school turned into a torture center

Instruments of torture



After a while there were so many killed that all could not buried close to Tuol Sleng. People were instead taken to palace 17 km south of Pnom Penh - Choung Ek. Most of them were killed by a blow to the neck, got their skulls smashed and were thrown into massgraves. 8895 bodies have been found here. Today it is a memorial site.

English Navigation

Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge

Back after 30 years

Cambodia 1978 - a journey with blinders on

The Trial agains the Khmer Rouge

The History

Cambodia November 2008 (Swedish captions)

Book Living Hell



Tuol Sleng was one of almost 200 prisons in Demoratic Kampuchea

  • Thousands of human being were arrested, many tortured and executed.

  • Onyly 12 persons survived Tuol Sleng, only 3 of the are alive today

  • Tuol Sleng had about 100 guards, many young persons.

  • The prison was divided into the hot unit (where torture was used), the cold unit (where torture was not used) och and the chewing unit that dealt with the "hard" cases. If the cold unit did not produce confessions the hot unit took over.

  • In the trial, Duch admitted most of his crimes but sometimes acted inconsistently - he also asked to be released.

  • Duch has said that the he sent reports abot confessions to Son Sen (Minister of Defence) and later to Kampucheas leader Nr 2 - Nuon Chea. Nuon Chea denies this but his own bodyguard confirms it.

Duchs rules for Tuol Sleng

1. You must answer accordingly to my question. Don’t turn them away.

2. Don’t try to hide the facts by making pretexts this and that, you are strictly prohibited to contest me.

3. Don’t be a fool for you are a chap who dare to thwart the revolution.

4. You must immediately answer my questions without wasting time to reflect.

5. Don’t tell me either about your immoralities or the essence of the revolution.

6. While getting lashes or electrification you must not cry at all.

7. Do nothing, sit still and wait for my orders. If there is no order, keep quiet. When I ask you to do something, you must do it right away without protesting.

8. Don’t make pretext about Kampuchea Krom in order to hide your secret or traitor.

9. If you don’t follow all the above rules, you shall get many lashes of electric wire.

10. If you disobey any point of my regulations you shall get either ten lashes or five shocks of electric discharge.