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Van Nath "Untitled"
Oil painting 100 x 150 cm
Cambodia/ born in 1946

I was arrested on December 30, 1977 in Cooperative Number Five, Commune Number Five, District Forty-one, Fourth Region Battambang. I was accused of mobilizing a movement against the Revolutionary Policy and of being a CIA agent. But in the file, complied in the prison, they put down "Painter in an enemy zone". After seven days of being tortured and interrogated at Kandal Pagoda in Battambang, I was transported to Phnom Penh with over thirty other prisoners in two trucks.

When we got to Phnom Penh on January 7, 1978 at midnight, I did not realize it was Security Office S-21. I only knew one thing- that this detention centre had once been a school. When we got there the first thing they did was subject us to several interrogations. We were then handcuffed and blindfolded before being led into the centre. We were tied together with a heavy rope around our necks. We were then towed along to another place in the prison where we were photographed and our measurements were taken. Then they put the black blindfolds- they had removed them when the pictures were taken- back on and we were pulled up to the second floor of Building D where we were confined to a set of iron stocks with all the other prisoners. That took place the same night, about 3 o’clock in the morning. At that point they removed our handcuffs.*

*The translation was provided by Bophana Audiovisual Recourse Center, Phnom Penh/Cambodia, www.bophana.org