Nuon Chea, the chief ideologue of the communist Khmer Rouge regime that destroyed a generation of Cambodians, died Sunday, the country’s UN-assisted genocide tribunal said. He was 93.
Nuon Chea was known as Brother No 2, the right-hand man of Pol Pot, the leader of the regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.
The group’s fanatical efforts to realise a utopian society led to the death of some 1.7 million people – more than a quarter of the country’s population at the time – from starvation, disease, overwork and executions.
He was a hardline communist whose ideology led to the slaughter of a quarter of his population.
The Khmer Rouge were “autocratic, xenophobic, paranoid and repressive”. They did not believe in trade so refused to buy medicines which protected against malaria. They killed fellow citizens who wore glasses, because that means they might be an intellectual.
At the long-awaited Khmer Rouge trials, he told a court that he and his comrades were not “bad people”, denying responsibility for any deaths.
Evil to the end.