TV New Zealand
Saturday August 22, 2009
The Kiwi transatlantic rower who confronted his brother's killer at a war crimes hearing is now trying to educate Cambodians about their country's brutal past.
Rob Hamill has been visiting high schools in the capital Phnom Penh, before he makes another emotional journey home.
Hamill testified at the hearing of the former Khmer Rouge commander Kaing Guek Eav, or Duch, who is on trial for crimes against humanity.
His brother Kerry was tortured and executed in Cambodia 31 years ago.
Hamill is now talking to the next generation of Cambodians about the atrocities carried out by the Khmer Rogue.
"We feel we need to tell this story of what happened to the people of Cambodia...and my brother," he says.
"This is hugely important; the history needs to be told."
But some of the students he visits ask him if the killing of two million people in Cambodia by torture, starvation and overwork even happened.
"The children of Cambodia do not know what happened in their recent history in the 1970's," says Hamill.
In 1978 Kerry Hamill's boat strayed into Cambodian waters.
He was one of a handful of foreigners tortured and executed in the communist's radical S-21 prison.