Death on the hippy trail.

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Kung-fu Hillbilly
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Death on the hippy trail.

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:14 pm

Picture: Kerry Hamill Trust.

By Holly Baxter
24 Oct 2018

Death on the hippy trail: from the pristine beaches of Malaysia to the Killing Fields of Cambodia

In 1978, three young men sailing through Southeast Asia strayed into Cambodian waters and were captured by the Khmer Rouge. Four decades later, the unthinkable atrocity that unfolded has left surviving family still struggling to forgive.

I was told a story by a guard when I visited there that John was taken out, tied into a tyre and set on fire at S-21. But he didn’t know if it might have been a different Westerner

It is a story that I encounter again and again in my research, until one rare survivor of the prison – a Cambodian man named Chum Mey – tells me that he was detained in the room next door to Kerry Hamill, and that Kerry was the one who met that awful fate. It is unclear what provoked this act of brutality, but plain that the capture of Westerners was treated as “proof” that CIA agents were stationed round the country’s shores, determined to topple the regime.

Meas Muth is presumed to have attacked Foxy Lady off the island of Koh Tang, which – unbeknown to the sailors – housed a Khmer Rouge military base. Canadian Glass was reportedly shot on sight and drowned. Dewhirst and Hamill were taken ashore at Sihanoukville and then transported overland to S-21. The world then had little idea about the crimes against humanity. Most journalists had either fled or been murdered, the country was closed to visitors, its borders heavily policed, its airports inoperative with the exception of a once-weekly flight to Beijing.

In video footage of Rob’s courtroom testimony, he sits opposite the small and unassuming Duch, looking directly into his eyes as he addresses him. “At times I have imagined you shackled, starved, whipped and clubbed viciously – viciously,” he says, with emotion, before going on to detail some of the methods of torture used in S-21. “I have imagined your scrotum electrified, being forced to eat your own faeces, being nearly drowned and having your own throat cut … Today in this courtroom I am giving you all the crushing weight of emotion; the anger, the grief and the sorrow.”

Full article ... s-malaysia
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