Khmer Rouge Survivor Says Guards Drank Wine Mixed With Human Organs

Illustration for article titled Khmer Rouge Survivor Says Guards Drank Wine Mixed With Human Organs

Testifying before a Khmer Rouge tribunal, a man who spent three years as a teen confined to Cambodia's notoriously brutal Kraing Ta Chan Security Centre in the 1970s recalled "torture, mass killings, and cadres drinking wine infused with human organs."


Cambodia Daily has the (quite literally) gory details:

Meas Sokha, imprisoned after members of his family were involved in an attempt to depose a local village chief in 1976, explained how guards at the prison in Takeo province would dry out the internal organs of their murdered victims and mix them with wine, which was later ingested to boost their courage for further killings.

"Some cadre … would make [wine] themselves and I would also join in with them in making the white wine, but then they would consume it with internal organs of human beings," Mr. Sokha told the court.

"Whenever there were killings, the guards would drink wine with a gall bladder. I could see gall bladders drying in the sun and I knew these were from human beings, there were so many dried by the fence, it was put in wine for drinking and to make people brave," he added.

Mr. Sokha, who was tasked with looking after cattle at the security center, says he regularly witnessed between 20 and 100 killings in a single day.


Sokha's testimony is a key part of the case against Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea (Pol Pot's "Brother Number Two;" Pol Pot, who was never brought to justice, died in 1998). The men are charged with genocide, among other atrocities.

Via Eater.

Image via Shutterstock.

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It might just be my limited western understanding of south-east asia, but the Cambodian genocide is something that I can't seem seem to wrap my mind around. As truly awful as the holocaust, the armenian genocide, the cultural revolution and the holodomor were, I can at least somewhat understand the perverse logic behind them. The cambodian genocide, on the other hand, just seems so sadistic, so personal, yet I don't understand where the hate really came from. I understand that a big part of the Khmer Rouge's motivation came from hatred of the upper classes, the educated, the urbanites, but I still feel like I'm missing something that might start to explain what fueled that awful period.