Choeung Ek

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Coordinates: 11°29′3.82″N 104°54′7.17″E / 11.4843944°N 104.9019917°E / 11.4843944; 104.9019917

Choeung Ek (Khmer: ជើងឯក [cəəŋ aek]), the site of a former orchard and Chinese graveyard about 17 km south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is the best-known of the sites known as The Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge regime executed about 17,000 people between 1975 and 1979. Mass graves containing 8,895 bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of the dead were former inmates in the Tuol Sleng prison.

Today, Choeung Ek is a memorial, marked by a Buddhist stupa. The stupa has acrylic glass sides and is filled with more than 5,000 human skulls. Some of the lower levels are opened during the day so that the skulls can be seen directly. Many have been shattered or smashed in.

Tourists are encouraged by the Cambodian government to visit Choeung Ek. Apart from the stupa, there are pits from which the bodies were exhumed. Human bones still litter the site.

On May 3, 2005, the Municipality of Phnom Penh announced that they had entered into a 30-year agreement with JC Royal Co. to develop the memorial at Choeung Ek. As part of the agreement, they are not to disturb the remains still present in the field.

The film The Killing Fields is a dramatized portrayal of events like those that took place at Choeung Ek.


Human skulls on display in the glass-sided stupa

The memorial stupa at Choeung Ek, which is full of human skulls

A view of the mass graves at Choeung Ek

More human skulls on display in the glass-sided stupa

The mass grave-site at Choeung Ek

Original plan map of extermination camp Choeung Ek

Extermination camp Choeung Ek

Choeung Ek, bones from a mass grave

Choeung Ek, bones and teeth from a mass grave

Choeung Ek, mass grave

Choeung Ek, mass grave and bones

Choeung Ek, mass grave, Chankiri Tree used to kill children

Choeung Ek, mass grave

Choeung Ek, mass grave

Choeung Ek, mass grave, memorial stupa, skulls

Choeung Ek, mass grave, memorial stupa

Choeung Ek, fragments of Chinese gravestone

Choeung Ek, Children playing in front of Choeung Ek

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