Charged With Treason, a Genocide Survivor Opts to Fight, Not Flee

As a child, Theary Seng escaped Cambodia’s killing fields. After returning there as a human rights advocate, she angered the country’s strongman leader. But she refuses to be driven away again.

Only a small child when the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975 and soon made her an orphan, Theary Seng has two enduring memories from that time in Cambodia’s tortured history.

In one, she had fallen asleep in the arms of her mother only to wake up to find her gone. “It was my first spiritual experience,” she said, “when I knew without anyone telling me that my mother was not on this earth.”

The other is a sensory memory.

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