Robert Carmichael


Journalist and author

2014

 
 

I am a foreign correspondent based in Phnom Penh, and am also the author of ‘Leaving: A Disappearance, A Daughter’s Quest and Cambodia’s First War Criminal’. The book is about the Khmer Rouge’s former security chief, Comrade Duch, and one of his victims. It will be published later this year.


Leaving’ combines the tale of Duch’s war crimes trial (he was jailed for life in 2012) with the story of one of his 12,000 victims. In so doing it recounts Cambodia’s torrid time under Pol Pot’s totalitarian 1975-79 government.


The victim was an unassuming young Cambodian diplomat who disappeared after returning to Phnom Penh in 1977. The efforts of his French wife and children to learn his fate, and the impact this had on their lives, illustrate the consequences of one man’s murder across continents and down the years.


In so doing the book shows how a devastating act of violence against one person - out of two million who perished under the Khmer Rouge - had repercussions that can never be undone.


Leaving’ is my most recent work on Cambodia. You can read more about it here.


In 2012 I wrote the 21,000-word text for the iPad app ‘Quest for Land’ by Magnum photographer John Vink, a long-term resident of Cambodia. John has spent more than a decade documenting land and evictions, and his app is a vital record of one of the country’s most pressing problems.


John and I have also collaborated on two e-books: ’30 Years for a Trial’ (about the war crimes trial of S-21‘s Comrade Duch) and ‘A Fine Thread’ (about the growth of the garment industry in Cambodia).


I was the president of the Overseas Press Club of Cambodia, an association of foreign journalists, between 2010 and 2012. The OPCC stands for press freedom and related issues, and brings together like-minded people on media issues.


For the record, the photographs are:


  1. 1.Nuns protest the killing of women candidates ahead of the general election in 2003.

  2. 2.Two men rescue wooden boards at a huge slum fire in Phnom Penh in 2002.

  3. 3.Angkor Wat at night. The most renowned aspect of Cambodia, and the drawcard for two million tourists each year.


Finally, all images and articles on this site are copyright. Either they belong to the broadcaster/wire service or to Magnum’s John Vink as noted, or if they are unattributed then they are mine. Please don’t take them. Many thanks.


You can find information about my book ‘Leaving as well as a selection of my articles, radio broadcasts and photographs on these pages.


You can follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Carmichael_Rob


You can reach me by emailing:


robert@robertcarmichael.net


Or by phoning my mobile (bearing in mind the time difference of course).


If you are outside Cambodia, please dial:


+855-12-941250


If you are inside Cambodia, please dial:


012-941250