The Herder

The Herder, 2010. Excerpt.

My name is Khieu Yuon, but in the days of the red dawn I was known as ‘the herder’. I plied my trade upon the fields of Choeung Ek, an orchard and cemetery fifteen kilometres south of Phnom Penh. There my role was simple – I was to squat in silence beneath a rambutan tree, without pissing or moving, and was permitted to take leave only to register the new prisoners as they arrived from Tuol Sleng. I marked their names from a list and led them in procession to the field where Comrade Khang and his officers waited with a metal pole or a hammer. And then I returned to my tree. I was shepherd of death and my flocks were the unending parade of the condemned, the slaughtered children of Kampuchea.


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