Khmer Rouge ‘brother number two’ Nuon Chea died on Sunday, a spokesman for the Cambodian court where he was convicted said.

“We can confirm that defendant Nuon Chea … passed away this evening on 4 August, 2019 at Khmer Soviet Friendship hospital,” Neth Pheaktra said. No details on the cause of death was given.

Chea, aged 93 at his death, had received a life sentence in 2014for crimes against humanity that centered around the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and sending people into rural labor camps and for murders at an execution site. 

Read more: Khmer Rouge verdict ‘a milestone’

‘Killing Fields’

An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died of starvation, disease, overwork and execution during the regime’s three years, eight months and 20 days in power.

After taking over Phnom Penh in April 1975, the Khmer Rouge sought to install a Maoist-inspired agrarian society by forcing millions into forced labor. To create its collectives and dissolve any sense of ownership or family ties, the regime moved virtually the entire population from their homes to elsewhere.

Read more: Life sentences for the Khmer Rouge regime’s last surviving senior leaders

kw/jlw (AP, AFP)

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