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The prison was discovered by a Vietnamese photographer, Ho Van Tay, who was attracted by the stench of decay. He found a hastily abandoned torture centre with freshly murdered prisoners tied to metal beds above pools of their own blood. The photographs taken by Ho still hang on the walls of S-21, which is now a genocide museum. Until a few years ago, the floors were still stained with blood.<br />
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On 17th April 1975, after five years of civil war, Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, who instigated a brutal reign of terror that would see the death of some 1.7 million Cambodians. In an attempt to create a self-sufficient agrarian paradise, cities were emptied, money and religion were banned and roughly a quarter of the population was worked and starved to death or executed. <br />
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At the centre of this brutality was S-21, also known as Tuol Sleng, the Khmer Rouge prison located in the grounds of an old Phnom Penh school. Before the Vietnamese liberation of Phnom Penh on 7th January 1979, at least 14,000 people were tortured and executed here or at the nearby Choeung Ek killing field.

The prison was discovered by a Vietnamese photographer, Ho Van Tay, who was attracted by the stench of decay. He found a hastily abandoned torture centre with freshly murdered prisoners tied to metal beds above pools of their own blood. The photographs taken by Ho still hang on the walls of S-21, which is now a genocide museum. Until a few years ago, the floors were still stained with blood.

On 17th April 1975, after five years of civil war, Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh fell to...
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Copyright Rob Few