The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer

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9780062329547: The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer

Renowned journalist Thierry Cruvellier takes us into the dark heart of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge with The Master of Confessions, a suspenseful account of a Chief Interrogator's trial for war crimes.

On April 17, 1975, the communist Khmer Rouge, led by its secretive prime minister Pol Pot, took over Cambodia. Renaming the country Democratic Kampuchea, they cut the nation off from the world and began systematically killing and starving two million of their people.

Thirty years after their fall, a man named Duch (pronounced "Doïk"), who had served as Chief Prison officer of S21, the regime's central prison complex, stood trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Unlike any other tribunal defendant, Duch acknowledged his personal responsibility, pleaded guilty, and asked for forgiveness from his victims. In The Master of Confessions, Thierry Cruvellier uses the trial to tell the horrifying story of this terrible chapter in history.

Cruvellier offers a psychologically penetrating, devastating look at the victims, the torturers, and the regime itself, searching to answer crucial questions about culpability. Self-drawing on his knowledge, and experience, Cruvellier delivers a startling work of journalistic history—by turns deeply moving, horrifying, and darkly funny.

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From the Back Cover:

An Eichmann in Jerusalem for the Khmer Rouge, Thierry Cruvellier's The Master of Confessions is a harrowing account of the trial of Duch, director of the regime's most brutal prison. Cruvellier paints a startling portrait of a war criminal contending with his past.

The Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975. Led by their secret prime minister, Pol Pot, the Communist revolutionaries brutally seized Cambodia, established the totalitarian state known as Democratic Kampuchea, and isolated themselves from the rest of the world. When the Vietnamese invaded in 1979, the international community discovered that the regime had murdered approximately two million people: a third of these had been executed, the others had been starved or worked to death.

On February 17, 2009, Duch (pronounced "Doïk"), who had served as the director of S-21, the regime's primary center for interrogation and execution, stood trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Master of Confessions builds around the mysterious Duch, who, unlike any other Khmer Rouge operative prosecuted for war crimes, took responsibility for his involvement in the crimes, apologized to the victims, and pleaded guilty. In a deft, suspenseful narrative, journalist and witness to the trial Thierry Cruvellier asks: Is Duch the deviant monster depicted by the prosecutor? Or is he the genuinely remorseful, born-again Christian he claims to be? Was he a pawn of his Khmer Rouge superiors? Is he now a man just trying to face up to his past?

Cruvellier both recounts this unique trial and delves into the history of the Khmer Rouge's rule of terror, offering a psychologically penetrating and devastating look at the victims, the torturers, and the regime itself. Cruvellier captures the intense human drama of the trial as it unfolds—from ironic twists and banalities, to the illusions and disillusions of the players, and finally to a stunning coup de théâtre. By offering readers a distinct view into the mind of a mass murderer, The Master of Confessions sheds light on one of the most storied genocides of our time.

Duch was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in February 2012.

About the Author:

Thierry Cruvellier is the only journalist to have attended trials brought before all contemporary international tribunals for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Since 2003, he has been a consultant with the International Center for Transitional Justice. Cruvellier was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and holds a master's in journalism from Sorbonne University in Paris. He is the author of Court of Remorse: Inside the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Renowned journalist Thierry Cruvellier takes us into the dark heart of Cambodia s Khmer Rouge with The Master of Confessions, a suspenseful account of a Chief Interrogator s trial for war crimes. On April 17, 1975, the communist Khmer Rouge, led by its secretive prime minister Pol Pot, took over Cambodia. Renaming the country Democratic Kampuchea, they cut the nation off from the world and began systematically killing and starving two million of their people. Thirty years after their fall, a man named Duch (pronounced Doik ), who had served as Chief Prison officer of S21, the regime s central prison complex, stood trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Unlike any other tribunal defendant, Duch acknowledged his personal responsibility, pleaded guilty, and asked for forgiveness from his victims. In The Master of Confessions, Thierry Cruvellier uses the trial to tell the horrifying story of this terrible chapter in history. Cruvellier offers a psychologically penetrating, devastating look at the victims, the torturers, and the regime itself, searching to answer crucial questions about culpability. Self-drawing on his knowledge, and experience, Cruvellier delivers a startling work of journalistic history--by turns deeply moving, horrifying, and darkly funny. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780062329547

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