Wednesday, January 19: When I first enter the Tuol Sleng prison, I find the following security regulations on a board:
1. You must answer accordingly to my question. Don’t turn them away.
2. Don’t try to hide the facts by making pretexts this and that, you are strictly prohibited to contest me.
3. Don’t be a fool for you are a chap who dare to thwart the revolution.
4. You must immediately answer my questions without wasting time to reflect.
5. Don’t tell me either about your immoralities or the essence of the revolution.
6. While getting lashes or electrification you must not cry at all.
7. Do nothing, sit still and wait for my orders. If there is no order, keep quiet. When I ask you to do something, you must do it right away without protesting.
8. Don’t make pretext about Kampuchea Krom* in order to hide your secret or traitor.
9. If you don’t follow all the above rules, you shall get many lashes of electric wire.
10. If you disobey any point of my regulations you shall get either ten lashes or five shocks of electric discharge.
*Kampuchea Krom was the southernmost territory of the Khmer empire, once known as French Cochinchina. It is now the southwestern part of Vietnam. Besides the Vietnamese, there are other people living in Kampuchea-Krom, including the Chinese, the Chams, the Mountgards, and many other small ethnic groups.
In addition to these rules, I see a sign of a big smiling face with a big red X across it. Does this mean you can’t laugh, you can’t talk? You can’t be human? Here in this place, all humanity was stripped away. People ceased to be seen as people.
Horrible. Simply horrible.