Asia

Photographer at Khmer Rouge torture center enters politics

  • FILE -Jan. 25, 2007, file photo, Nhem En, former chief photographer at a torture center run by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, poses for photo with dozens photographs of former prisoners in a room of Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The former Khmer Rouge photographer at the notorious S-21 prison has announced, Feb. 1, 2017, to form his own political party to participate the upcoming general election in 2018. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)

    FILE -Jan. 25, 2007, file photo, Nhem En, former chief photographer at a torture center run by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, poses for photo with dozens photographs of former prisoners in a room of Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The former Khmer Rouge photographer at the notorious S-21 prison has announced, Feb. 1, 2017, to form his own political party to participate the upcoming general election in 2018. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -In this Jan. 25, 2007, file photo, Nhem En, former chief photographer at a torture center run by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, poses for photo with dozens photographs of former prisoners in a room at the Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The former Khmer Rouge photographer at the notorious S-21 prison has announced, Feb. 1, 2017, to form his own political party to participate the upcoming general election in 2018. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, file)

    FILE -In this Jan. 25, 2007, file photo, Nhem En, former chief photographer at a torture center run by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, poses for photo with dozens photographs of former prisoners in a room at the Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The former Khmer Rouge photographer at the notorious S-21 prison has announced, Feb. 1, 2017, to form his own political party to participate the upcoming general election in 2018. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, file)  (The Associated Press)

A former Khmer Rouge member who was chief photographer at a prison where about 20,000 people were tortured before being executed says he is forming a political party for Cambodia's 2018 general election.

Nhem En said Wednesday he is establishing the Khmer Family Party after concluding that leaders of the country's ruling and opposition parties are not sincerely working for the benefit of the people and nation.

An estimated 1.7 million people died from torture, starvation, exhaustion or lack of medical care during the Khmer Rouge's rule in 1975-79.

Nhem En was chief photographer at Phnom Penh's Tuol Sleng prison, where he took haunting portraits of prisoners that are now displayed at the site, which has become a genocide museum.