The Leaders -- List

(For comprehensive information on these leaders and others in the Khmer Rouge, see Dictionnaire des Khmers Rouges (Asia Reference, DS 554.8 K386 2011)

Pol Pot (Saloth Sar), 1928-1998.   Brother Number One, Prime Minister

Nuon Chea (Long Bunruot), 1926-2019.   Brother Number Two. Pol Pot's deputy, second in command.  Chief ideologist.  Sentenced to life in prison in 2014 at  U.N.'s Cambodian war crimes tribunal. "We only killed the bad people, not the good."

Ieng Sary (Kim Trang), 1925-2013.   Brother Number Three.  Brother-in-law of Pol Pot.  Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, arrested by the Cambodian Tribunal in 2007.                         

Khieu Samphan, 1931-    Brother Number Four.  Held several different high positions in Khmer Rouge; diplomat; president 1976-1979.  Sentenced in 2014 to life in prison at U.N. Cambodia war crimes tribunal.  "Let bygones be bygones."  Said the trial documents were "fake history."

Ta Mok (Ung Choen), 1926-2006.   Brother Number Five, "The Butcher."  Head of the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh.

Comrade Duch (Kaing Guek Eav), 1942-2018?   Math teacher, head of S-21 (Tuol Sleng) prison, responsible for thousands of deaths; sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 at  U.N.'s Cambodia war crimes tribunal, born-again evangelical Christian.

Son Sen (Bong 89, Brother 89), 1930-1997.   Defense minister, chief aide to Pol Pot, killed by Pol Pot's thugs in 1997 along with wife Yan Yat and family.

Hu Nim, 1932-1977.   Head of Ka33 (code name for propaganda & Information ministry),  executed  at Choeung Ek for challenging Angkar policy, succeeded by Yun Yat (wife of Son Sen).

Khieu (Ieng) Thirith,   1932-2015.   Sorbonne-educated wife of Ieng Sary; active in Marxist circles and Angkar, head of Ministry of Social Affairs (including the health system)..  Arrested in 2007 by the Cambodian Tribunal, along with her husband.

Khieu (Saloth) Ponnary, 1920-2003.   Sister Number One, sister of Khieu Thirith, wife of Ieng Sary. first wife of Pol Pot; divorced 1979; suffered from schizophrenia.

Yun Yat, 1934 -1997.   Wife of Son Sen, Minister of Education and Culture, executed by Pol Pot.   


Khmer Rouge