Ex-Khmer Rouge torture center photographer plans museum

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The former chief photographer at a torture center run by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge said Tuesday he intends to set up a museum with pictures of the leaders of the notorious communist group as his way of apologizing for the death and destruction they caused.

Ngem En, now 47, documented for the Khmer Rouge the thousands taken into Phnom Penh's S-21 prison for torture and eventual execution in the late 1970s. Haunting photos of the victims are the centerpiece of a genocide museum at the prison site, also known as Tuol Sleng.

Historians estimate that more than 1.7 million Cambodians died of execution, starvation, overwork and inadequate medical care due to Khmer Rouge policies.

Ngem En plans to set up a museum at Anlong Veng, a former Khmer Rouge stronghold in northern Cambodia where he now serves as a deputy district chief. The project would be his ``opportunity to apologize to all the victims who have suffered during that era,'' he said.

He will exhibit pictures of all Khmer Rouge leaders who ruled Cambodia from 1975-79, including Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan and Son Sen, he told The Associated Press.

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