On July 26, three decades after millions of people perished under Khmer Rouge rule, Kaing Guek Eav, known as “Duch” was sentencedfor his role in unlawfully detaining, torturing, and executing Cambodian citizens in the 1970s. Duch ran the s-21 detention camp with unquestioning loyalty to his superiors.
Prisoner lists show 12,272 people detained and executed , and the trial chamber believes that number was much larger. Duch received a 35 year sentence from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), and the 16 years he has served will count toward that sentence, leaving 19 years. He can conceivably walk free before the end of his life, causing controversy. Many Cambodians feel that the sentence is lenient for killing even one person, let alone thousands, and that the UN backed Court is failing to deliver adequate justice.
The ECCC explained the sentence was influenced by his admission of responsibility and contrition among other factors.