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Francois Bizot talks to Philippe Sands
Facing The Torturer
Hay Festival 2012,
In 1971 the author was kept prisoner for three months in the Cambodian jungle. His Khymer Rouge captor, Comrade Duch, eventually had him freed but later became one of Pol Pot’s most infamous henchmen, who personally oversaw the detention, systematic torture and execution of more than 16,000 detainees. Bizot covered Duch’s show trial, which ended in 2010, and spent time with him in prison, trying to unearth whatever humanity Duch had left. If he was going to talk to anyone, it was Bizot, whom he still referred to as his ‘friend’.