I remember about a year ago, I contributed a post about the throught of the first hearing of Duch. This year, this hour, Duch has been detained for 9 years, 9 months and 27 days, as Francios Roux said at the beginnig of the trial after the presiding judge allowed all the defense lawyers to speak. After hearing this, I evaluated that it was very nice to see it now because Duch could have a chance to taste legal procedures while about two millions of Cambodians didn’t. Of coures, I did agree that this past brutality should be settled in the court of law rather than by the natural law or mob justice.
The night before, I did sleep late. I was still pondering over the next day, the first day of Duch trial. Athough I was not related to Duch in any way, I still felt excited and eager to know how his fate will follow him. I was lying down, thinking if anybody thinks the trial is going to give more justice than now. It’s that I have visisted Tuol Sleng where Duch ruled once, many times I start to have too many questions to ask him. But what I found out after mentally struggling to question the reality, is that it seems to me death or killing is addictive. When you kill one, you just feel it easy to kill more. And to kill more under the regime means that you are more loyal to the regime. And for Duch, he believed that at the time, he had to behave very strongly in front of his superior.
As a math teacher, he should not have ended up here. That means, the education at school is never enough. That means, there’s something completely wrong everywhere– As a born-again Christian, before being baptised by a foreign pastor, he said to him that he had killed “many brothers and sisters”. At this point, I just don’t know what God really thinks. I am really asking myself if I myself can forgive such a person who has killed so many people without blinks. I’ve thought about this because as a Cambodian, I was too overwhelmed to believe this surreal past of my country— that not many countries in this world experience. Once great, once bleak, once rise, once fall.
One teacher puts it, “You never understand injustice until it hurts you.”