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Interview with Monoram Hang




Monoram Hang was a nine-year-old living in Phnom Penh when the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia. His father was a Commander in the Army and was killed almost immediately. His mother had given birth only two days before and the whole family was made to leave their home and walk out of the city about 50 kilometers into the jungle. They were split up and sent to different work camps. Hang describes the children's team and the conditions in the camp. In 1984 or 1985, his brother helped him cross into Thailand where he lived without permission in a refugee camp. He then received medical training and met his American sponsor, coming to Minnesota in 1988.





World Region



Several pages of the original transcription of the Testimony of Monoram Hang have been corrected. They were corrected on 4/23/02 by Beatriz Menanteau, at the University of Minnesota Law School. The corrected pages are the following: 2; 5; 16. TESTIMONY OF MONORAM HANG, on July 30, 1992, at the Cable Access Studio, St. Paul, Minnesota. The testimony of Monoram Hang was interpreted by Mr. Rich Tran. The examination was conducted by Mr. Dwight Oglesby. MR. OGLESBY: My name is Dwight Oglesby. I'm a lawyer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are here today as part of the Khmer Archive Project in St. Paul, Minnesota. The date is July 30th, 1992. MR. TRAN: Hi. My name is Rich Tran. I'm the translator for Mr. Monoram Hang. MR. HANG: My name is Monoram Hang. I am one of the refugee, Cambodian refugee who live in Minnesota. EXAMINATION DO: Monoram, I understand that you are a Cambodian refugee. Would you describe for us your experience in Cambodian under the Khmer Rouge. MH: My story has been long story. I try to tell about story in Regime Khmer Rouge. DO: Would you tell us how you became involved with the Khmer Rouge and how old you were and what year it was? MH: In 1975 Khmer Rouge took over my country. I have been separated from my family. DO: Monoram, how old were you in 1975? MH: In 1975 I was nine years old. DO: And how did the - - how did you first come to know about the Khmer Rouge? What happened? MH: In 1975 I was young. I didn't know anything about Khmer. When Khmer Rouge took over my country, I live with my family and move to live with Khmer Rouge. DO: How large was your family, and did the Khmer Rouge harm any of your family? MH: My family is seven member in my family, and since we live with the Khmer Rouge, Khmer Rouge catch my dad and bring to execute, I mean kill him. DO: Why did they kill your father?

MH: My father was a Commander of Army fight against Khmer Rouge, so they took my father. DO: What city did you live in? MH: Before Khmer Rouge took over my country, I live in Phnom Penh, a city of Cambodia. DO: And were you forced to leave Phnom Penh? MH: Since Khmer Rouge took over power, they have forced everybody in the city out from the city. DO: Would you describe your experience when you were forced to leave the city? If you could talk about how that happened and what you went through in that process. MH: At the time the Khmer Rouge took over, we stayed home with my family. My dad was working. Since Khmer Rouge took over power, after two days they didn't force all the people in the city out from the city and my father was in place that he work. At that time they didn't force out. My mom was born my brother baby after two days, so we had to move out from the city. DO: She had given birth only two days before you were forced to leave? MH: Yes, she was with newborn baby of two days. At that time my mom couldn't walk or couldn't do anything. She don't have any more energy to walk or something but Khmer Rouge had the force. They say if you don't move out we will destroy your house or kill anybody in the house. At that time one of the soldier of Khmer Rouge come to my house and force our family and said you have to move out from the city. What are you waiting for? Do you want me to kill you or what do you want to do? You have to go out. And at that time my mom with knee down and asked to beg him and says please, let me wait for my husband come home so our family can leave. And one of the soldiers of Khmer Rouge said no, and they kicked my mom on the body and she fell down. And at that time we had no choice, we had to go, so we got to leave everything behind. So we cannot say anything. We cannot wait for my father, so we had to go. At that time my mom couldn't walk, so she is so scary and she doesn't have energy to walk. At that time my two old sister carry her and go along with me and my hand on my young sister and we altogether leave the city. At that time we and my young brother had been lost in crowd of people. Too many people move away from the city at that time. At that time we walk, we don't know where we are going, we don't know where we end up. We just walk and walk. At that time we walk and it's not easy. And Khmer Rouge soldier behind us and shoot from behind and force us to go. At that time I lost, my parents lost, everybody. Only me and my brother stay with me. So we stand on the sidewalk and waiting and cry for them. At that time we had lost all the family, we don't have anybody left over except me and my brother. At that time me and my brother, we walk, and we meet one of my father's best friends. So my best friend told me your father had been killed already. And that he know

that I don't have anybody left over except me and my brother, so one of my best friend take care of me and asked me to live with them. That time we end up with the slave to live and the Khmer Rouge take all of the young boys to live different place, so me and my brother separate again so I live then another place they call the young group. DO: How far were you from Phnom Penh at this time? MH: About 50 kilometers. DO: And were you by yourself at this time? You were separated from your brother but were you – MH: Yeah, at that time I had been separated so I live by myself. DO: And how old were you again at that time? MH: At that time I was nine years old. DO: And could you describe your experience at this time? What sort of work did you have to do? What was your life like at that time? MH: At that time I had been separated from my brother so I think that's over for me. Only me live now. So they forced me to do the most thing. They know my dad was a general of soldiers before and they don't like that way. They make everything for me to live harder, work harder. That's the way they do. DO: Would you describe the kind of work you were forced to do? MH: At that time the Khmer Rouge, they don't care who is young, who is old, how old they are, but they forced me to do hard work, to destroy the mountain, to make the farm and carry the big rock, big thing, make everything for farm. They force me to work tenhours a day at least. DO: How long were you in that situation? MH: Well, I was there when they took over, about four or five years. DO: And were you in one place the entire time from 1975 to 1979? MH: At that time they don't allow me to live long time for one place. Whenever they need me to move on to work someplace, so they just move me on. So every time I have been moved a lot. DO: Would you describe your living conditions, food, shelter, medical treatment? What sort of conditions did you live under?

MH: For living they take the temple, the old temple, they make a room about 20 feet wide, something like that, and they let all the little children, about 40, 50 children live in there, and they let us have a big spoon of soup, rice soup, each meal. DO: What about medical treatment? MH: At that time they had no medical supply, no medicine, no doctor. That's the way you get sick, they use old method. They use corn scrub and too many people die without medicine. DO: So as I understand it, you were with a group of children and a group of you children lived together; is that correct? MH: Yeah, that they called. DO: There were no parents or adults or older brothers or sisters allowed to live with you? MH: No parents or brothers are allowed. Only the children without anybody to take care of them. DO: Did you know at that time where your mother and the rest of your family were living? MH: At that time I don't know where my family or my mother wherever they living. DO: Is there anything else about that time period before 1979 that you would like to tell us about before we go on to 1979 and later? MH: Well, I have something to say more, like every time with young kid, eight, nine year old kid, living without parents to take care, every time I cry a lot. So I think it's hard for all the kid nine years old to live by himself and take care of himself. Nobody can do like that in the world, I believe. DO: Did the Khmer Rouge tell you why they were doing this to you? MH: Well, Khmer Rouge told me, say, you are young kid, we want you to be the best. After us gone, you are the one to replace us. DO: What did they do to maintain discipline and to assure obedience to the orders they gave you to work? MH: They maintain me. They don't allow me to see my parents; they don't allow me to go anywhere; they don't allow me to steal or take things. They just want me working for them every day from 5 o'clock in the morning until dawn. DO: What happened in 1979 to change your situation?

MH: After 1979, me and my brother, a salesman who sell some product from Thailand border and bring to Cambodia in order to live. At that time my brother, the one that sells products, he walk across the border from Thailand to Cambodia and Cambodia to Thailand, and he know in Thailand they have refugee camp for people to escape to live there. They have a lot of good food, a lot of medicine, a lot of doctor, and he told me if I like to go down there. At that time I was student in my country. DO: And did you go to Thailand? MH: At that time I was student, I didn't finish my diploma, and me and my brother escaped to Thailand and with a refugee camp. DO: What year was that? MH: 1984. DO: But what happened, where were you between 1979 and 1984? MH: At that time I was still in my country and my brother sells products that I say from across the border from Thailand to Cambodia, something like that. DO: Where were the Khmer Rouge at that time from 1979 on? MH: At that time, 1979 up there, the government fight and took over my country and push, they push Khmer Rouge to live in borders, by Thailand and Cambodia borders. DO: Were conditions different under the Vietnamese control than under Khmer Rouge control? MH: At that time Vietnamese power I think better than Khmer Rouge, but for me I'm still the same way because I don't have parents to take care of me. I have to live and to fight for my living. DO: Monoram, would you describe once more for us what it was like for you in the work camp, and what was that called? MH: You want to ask me about refugee camp or before? DO: The mobile children's team is what I'm interested in, the ages of the children and how many of them there were and what you had to do. MH: At the time I lived there, they make a little house that they call kind of tiny house in a place they called --. That time we lived there about 400 children and youngest age about seven years old. In that time they came and tell all children how old they are, they

can tell -- that's the way they do. They allow the kid to get a hand over and touch ear and they say, okay, you are old enough to get in the mobile home team. DO: Just to be sure I understand, if a child was with parents, if the child could touch his ear, then the child would be removed to a work camp; is that correct? MH: Yeah. They do that every time, four times a month, so they walk through village to village to search for children and they tell children if you touch ear from another side, they force them to go to live in that group. DO: Was this true throughout Cambodia, that any child who could touch his ear was removed to a camp? MH: I believe so. In my country, in some place they didn't do it but I didn't know it, but pretty much on my place they always do like that. DO: In 1979 the Vietnamese army came into Cambodia. Would you describe how you experienced that? MH: In that time Vietnamese troop took over my country and everybody run away, so the Khmer Rouge leaders, they tried to run away, we have nobody to lead us, so everybody try to run away to try to find parents if you can. DO: And what did you do at that point? When you escaped, where did you go and how did you get to where you went? MH: In that time we think about our father and at that time I run away from the team to find a foster father. And my brother did the same way, too, so we all come up together in that village. DO: What village was that? MH: It's called village – DO: Is that near Phnom Penh? MH: It's not near, about 70, 80 kilometer. DO: And what was your life like at that point? MH: In that time we come up with very hard to live. You can't find any food or any supplies for us at that time. Only my stepfather can have me a little bit. DO: Did you live with your adopted father?

MH: Yeah. That time I live with my father and at that time I went to school and we finished high school and we moved to Phnom Penh. DO: And what happened after that? How long did you live in Phnom Penh? MH: In that time I had been moved to Phnom Penh in 1980, lived about four years over there until we escaped to Thailand. DO: And would you describe how you escaped to Thailand? MH: In that time I finished my diploma and I don't have enough money to pay more tuition to go to another high college, so if you don't go to school or don't go any place else, they are going to force you to be soldier. DO: And how did you -- how did you get to Thailand? MH: That time my brother, he sells products on border of Thailand and Cambodia, he has a little money, and he give some money to the guide. You had to pay them money to guide you through the border of Cambodia to Thailand. DO: And where did you live in Thailand? MH: We lived in Khao I Dang refugee camp. DO: A refugee camp in Thailand? MH: Yes. DO: And for how long? MH: Well, I live there since 1985 to 1987, so I had been transferred from refugee camp to Philippine refugee camp. DO: How many people approximately were in the refugee camp? MH: Before 1985, refugee camp come up with crowds of about two million people. DO: What were living conditions like in the refugee camp? What sort of -- what was your -- did you live in tents? Would you describe your living conditions, how you lived? MH: In that time I escaped from Cambodia to live in refugee camp in Thailand, United Nations, they no longer support food or medical supplies and everything to refugee people. At that time we lived in hiding ground, I live in roof. That's the way we do it. That time because we come to refugee camp, we don't have any permission from their government, we don't have anything to have us, so we kind of hide from the Thai soldier. Every day the Thai soldier search everywhere in the camp to catch people from our

country to live there and return back to Cambodia. Our refugee camp, they made a gate around the refugee camp. They protect, don't let anybody in there. So at that time I live in refugee camp, so I dig a hole underground to allow myself when the Thai soldiers to come in and search in a refugee camp so I can hide underground and escape from Thai soldier. In that time too many people have lived there before and escaped from my country to Thai, U.N. support, they have permit to live in their country, so they have a lot of food, water, supplies, medicine, except me. I don't have anything. I don't have any permission to live there so I don't have any food, water or anything at all. DO: How did you survive in that? How did you get food? MH: At that time I'm working for trade for food only, so the old people, they couldn't get supplies, couldn't carry, hard to carry big things, so I'm the one to work for them. So I'm the one that carry water for them, carry everything for them, so they pay me food, bowl of rice, whatever to live. DO: And how did you escape from the refugee camp? MH: In that time I didn't -- everybody in the refugee camp in demonstration, people is people, everybody is Cambodian, escape from Cambodia to Thailand, you wouldn't be fired. So United Nation move to have all the people, so new people or whatever get permission to get food supply, everybody all the same. DO: And when did you leave the refugee camp and where did you go? MH: In that time I had permit to live in refugee camp, so I had been sponsored by American here. At that time they approve me to come to the United States and transfer me from refugee camp Thailand to live in Philippine refugee camp. DO: How did you meet your sponsor, your American sponsor? MH: In that time before I don't have any permit to live in refugee camp, I live with a group of - - a hospital place they call OPD-7, and after that I got a permit to live in that refugee camp so I come ask to work in hospital and end up meeting him in hospital. DO: And where were you living in the Philippines? MH: I was in the Philippine camp they call Buttan. Most people have been transferred from Thai to Philippines and wait to come to the United States so know how to - - how to know American culture, how to live in American style. DO: And how long were you in the Philippines? MH: I live there about six months. DO: And where did you go then after the Philippines?

MH: After I stay in Philippine camp, they were training us to live, how to speak English, learn more English. Up to that they transfer us from Philippine camp to United States. DO: And how long have you been living in the United States now? MH: About three years, three and a half years. DO: And had that been in Minnesota the entire time? MH: Yeah, in Minnesota only. DO: And what has your work been while you've lived in the United States? MH: Right now my job is in Ramsey Hospital in St. Paul. DO: Have you been able to locate any of your brothers or sisters or your mother? MH: I will tell you story how to locate my brother and sisters. After they come to the United States I find my brother and sister. I find my mother, my sister and my little two years old sister. I have asked American Red Cross to help me to find my mother, my brother, my sister. My sister and my little sister, I have locate and I connect with my adopt father so they let me know where my sister and my little sister live. After I find out where is my mom, where is my sister, two day after that my mom is dead. I don't know what's wrong with my mother but my sister told me my mom was sick but they don't know what kind of sick, what kind of disease she has. I had two sister in refugee camp in Thailand and I have them find by American Red Cross. DO: And do you know how long your sister has been living in the Thai refugee camp? MH: Since 1979, about 10, 11 years from now. DO: Do you know what her plans are? Is she able to leave the refugee camp? MH: I plan to be a citizen, American citizen first, and after that I can sponsor them come to the United States. DO: Monoram, do you have anything else you would like to tell US about your experience? MH: I think I don't have much to say but I have one to say about my sponsor. I would like to say my sponsor is the best people for me like after my parents, after my family. My life is depend on her. If I don't find her and he don't sponsor me to come to United States, I would die in refugee camp. That time I was too young to survive, so I don't have any American sponsor so everything can disappear.

DO: Well, thank you very much for talking to us about this and telling us about your experience. Thank you. It's quite a story, quite a story. We are glad you are here. Thank you very much. (Break in videotape.) DO: Monoram, would you describe for us in English your experiences in Cambodia from when the Khmer Rouge came and your experiences in the children's camp. MH: Okay. When I left the city, I came with my foster father, I call him adopted father instead of foster, and we go to rural countryside which is in the -- province. And when we got there, the Khmer Rouge tried to separate everybody, not only my family, which most people have a wife and a husband also separated, too, and the children from the parents, too, if they are old enough. How they can tell, the way they can tell how old is the children by putting their hand – ask the children to put their hand over their head. If they can touch the other side of the ear which they think the children is old enough to get into the mobile children's team. They live in the mobile team which they move from place to place wherever they need it, but most of the time we stay in a certain village for about a week or a month at the longest. And the purpose of being in a team is to be watched by the communists. I was told by the leader of the Khmer Rouge that you are the youngest, I mean, you are the young generation who is the one has the clear mind, a clear head, which is not informed by the previous government; and they look at your parents, your parents and the old people is the people who were influenced by the previous government and they are not good, only you. That's why they put us in a team and try to brainwash us. We have a children meeting and they told us what is the proposed upcoming and what is the way of the communists work and the policy and what they were supposed to do, and the meeting every night. After working for long, long times, long periods, ten hours a day, we have meeting at night, too. And everybody have to work no matter you are a girl, but they put us separately from a girl and a boy, too, but just still close to each other, just different building. And we live in a building about as big as this one with 100 children sleep on each other and sometime overlap each other there is so many. When we got cold, they didn't care the way we were supposed to lie on the floor or whatever. And we woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning to go to work. They knocked, whatever way to wake you up, and the children not get used to wake up at 5 o'clock and everybody woke up and cry and look for mom and dad; but if you keep doing that, the first time they just say something good to you, your mom is not here, your parents is not here any more, let's go with me or something. The third time you are still looking for your family, they beat you by using a bamboo stick. They hit the children from behind and stand up in a line and walk to the rice field. And most of the time they force us to flatten the mountain. We used by hand, little children, can you imagine how small the children go flatten the mountain, with their bare hand, just use a stick of the wood, pick up a stone and try to carve the mountain, and nobody could do that, and there is no one can flatten the mountain but we did that because of the fort behind. Just the children -- my leader, the communist, we call children mobile team leader is about 18 or 20 years old, and they carry the stick and look at how you work. And one day my brother, younger brother, he was in a team, too, but in different team and we live in separate building. But one time we were working together

to flat let me continue. One time my brother and I, we were working together to flatten. one mountain and not far away from the village, like about two kilometers from the village. And I was we call bodyguard of the children, mobile team leader, because I just I don't know, it just maybe the way Cambodian say because of your charm or something that he got to know me and he start to like me. And most of the time I work for him real hard and that's why he like me. Everything he asked, I do it for him no matter what time during the night. He used to wake me up at 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock in the morning to cook for him or something, and I don't care, as long as he liked me. Then I can save my brother, too. I could stay regular children in the team and I watched the bodyguard which is a little bit away from the people. And then they was lifting a big stone and when he lift the stone up he found animals, insects, grasshoppers and he tried to eat it because he was starved and tried catch the grasshopper. And the leader saw him doing that, you don't do your work. What are you doing? He whipped him with the bamboo stick and he screamed. I was at that time at the mountain, down far away, and I still can hear what he scream. He knew that I was there and he cried, asked for my name to help. He said "Mono, help." That's the one thing I remember during that time. I know that my brother was beaten really hard. When I got up there I look at his voice and I tried to get up to the mountain, I saw him he was bleeding and he got bruised all over the body, and then I asked the leader, I said why you beat him. He said he didn't do the job. And nothing I could do. If I was there when he was beating him, I would save him, I would stop them or something, but I was not there when they beat him. That's one thing. And also, the way we live, we work hard, nobody take -- I mean, clothes, just one cloth that you wear every day, and sleep on the floor and your food -- I mean, if you talk about cleanliness or hygiene, compare -- I mean, animal here, cows or ox or horses in United States or the dog here are a lot better than we were, than most children. A lot of children got sick easily and there is no treatment. What the Khmer Rouge gave the medicine to the children is just by doing traditional practices, you use corn. They use corn to scratch on your skin to make bruise and they believe that the bruise is releasing the bad air inside is what they believe when you got sick. That's the only way try to help the sick children and give food and still not enough food. And die at least two or three children a day, every day. And one day I remember my friend was beaten when we were working together on the top of the mountain, and there was the hospital but there is no medicine in the hospital. And the medicine is not like western medicine. It's just the herbs. They use leaves and different kind of tree and mixed it up to make herbs and give to a sick person. An injection, I got injection once. I was in the hospital, too. And what they give me was just the coconut water. They put some die in it and look like ink, green color, real green color and mixed it with coconut water and inject me. That's why a lot of people carry diseases one to another easily. And the hospital was not far away from the children, just about a half a mile, something, and we were working on the top of the mountain. And my friend got bit by the snake, poison snake, and nobody could help. Only me could carry him and walk down the mountain and he died on the way. We didn't get to the hospital. And they allow us to see parents only, let's see, twice or three times a year, you know. For me, I was the bodyguard of the leader. I can ask him any time but still not very often. It was like I got permission from him the most is four times a year or something. And when I went to the village, I tried to spread the news and let the parents know that most of the children were dying. They still cannot help either because the parents didn't allow to see the children,

their children, and the children didn't allow to go to see parents, you know. During that time it's hard to imagine how we live. We call sky jail, universe jail, which the jail in the war. You just live in an open space but you cannot walk away from it. You know what I mean? Because they have been watching every second. Like in a children team -- okay. The big leader is control, look after 400 children, and after that one, three guy, three leaders is called subleader look after 30 children and then step by step in order to the lowest which is three people has one leader. Like I was the three group leader, a group with three children and I was the leader of that group, which I have to watch those two carefully. If they are lost or they missed from the place or missed dinnertime or lunchtime, that's my responsibility. And what they are going to do to me is punish me, they torture me. They tied me up once, that happened. They tied me up under a tree for a day and a night without food. If I missed one child or one child didn't go to work or anything, I have to give report to them every hour. That's why, you know, because they treat me bad, they torture me. I have to watch those two carefully. And then the next step up, they watch, too, and they watch the other through me. These two is sleeping now, they are here, then the leader of the ten, okay, I believe you. And then the ten report to the leader of the 30 and then hundred, and a hundred report to the biggest one which is the leader of a 400 or thousand, something like that. That's the way they control the people. Not with the children mobile team. Everybody is in the village or in other places. That's the way they control. That's why we call them the universe jail. You live in an open space but you cannot escape. And then I'm in a lot of other things that I still remember how hurt and how bad I was. Especially when there were two team of Khmer Rouge at that time during 1975 to 1979. There is one who came later who kicked the first one away and killed the first one away, and I was still bodyguard of the first Khmer Rouge, the first leader. And then when this leader replaced the first one, they killed the first one, and they tried to kill me, too, because I was the bodyguard, but I was innocent. I didn't do anything. And the reason they killed the first leader, they just accused that he was -- they said abuse, lot abuse than what the communists used. And nobody allowed to fall in love. A girl and boy, a man or woman, not allowed to have feeling toward each other. Unless you are feeling, you have to go through the leader. Okay. I liked one girl. I wouldn't let anybody know. I cannot go out, no way you can go out or talk to each other. No, not at all. That's why most people, if you ask most Cambodian family now, some of them, they got married during the Pol Pot Time. They set up by the communists. Didn't know each other at all. Like you from another village or a guy from another village, the Khmer Rouge just set you up together and you live together. And you have to love. You have to love each other. If you don't love, they kill you, too. If you don't love, they kill, and you love, they kill. That's the way it is. And also my leader, the first leader that was killed, he got love affair. I mean he loved the leader of the girl. They were in love but nobody know. And finally they found out, they kill him. And they didn't -- what in Cambodian way if you say love is not like American culture. You go out, you say a lot of thing, you sleep together or kiss or doing a lot of thing together. But no, it's just feeling toward each other. Or write a letter to each other and they caught your letter, you are both killed. And my leader was killed because of that. And how they kill him is they unclothed them, they took off the clothes, the girl and the boy, and then actually they beat them up using a bamboo stick and killed them and they already die. But they are naked and wrap them together and just a rope, wrap them together like you wrapping a lock or something,

and then set in a stage and let the rest of the children see. This is example for the rest of you watch. If somebody dare do that again, you are going to end up like these two people. They kill you and take off your clothes and wrap you up and bury you. That's the way it is. And we were scared to death every day, every moment. You just -- nothing you can say, who you talk to and who you can contact. You have no phone or anything. That's the life of the children team. And also, the rest of the people in the country, the same thing. That's why we couldn't escape. We couldn't do anything against the Khmer Rouge. Some people would think why you are so stupid at that time. If they are talking or something, you are strong enough, you are smart enough. Why you let them -- why didn't you escape from place to place. If you know that the government of this village or the leader of this village is bad, why don't you move to the other place. Or you try to talk to your friend who don't like the government, try to make a revolution or something, but that's impossible. No communication. That is the worst thing that Khmer Rouge do. No radio allowed to use, no watch. You don't know what time is it -- I mean, what time it was when you were working or something. Just use how they can tell the time, I remember in the children team you use a stick and look at the shadow of the stick. Like they put a stick like that and you work from when the shadow move from this mark to the other mark, you stop or something. That's the way they tell the time. And no music, no money, no transportation, nothing. Very -- I mean, if you live in a jail, it's a lot better. It's a lot better, I'm telling you. At least you have bathroom or you have water, you have food. You are not allowed to go anywhere but you are not forced emotionally or physically, you know. It's hard to tell the people to believe. Like most people have seen Killing Field and they say Killing Field is scary and beyond imaginary, but the real situation is worse than that, I'm telling you that it is. And also when I was -- after I escaped when the Vietnamese came in, I left Cambodia. There are many reasons that I left Cambodian. I snuck into the refugee camp, I thought it was better, but actually it is better compared to the Khmer Rouge, a lot of better, because you got support from the many organizations from the world like IRC, a lot of thing, but for me it was different. Because I got into the camp late which I mean late is the U.N., U.N. Board, United Nation Board, the relief organization, they stopped the arrival, new refugee arrived at certain times. After '84 they didn't accept any more. Maybe they ran out of funds or something, I'm not sure, but they said no more refugee. And then the refugee kept coming, still coming from Cambodia, because they know that the only place along the border you can get food. And then I came which was late, after 1975 I got to the camp, 1985, and I was not accept as a refugee. I was called illegal refugee, which I can live in camp illegally, nobody give me food, nobody give me water, nobody give me a cell to live, to stay, to sleep, nothing. Then a lot of people came and got into refugee camp and they were illegal but they still survived because they have some relatives living abroad, send them money, and they use the money to buy food from the legal refugee because they got rations from the U.N. Like the family that I worked just for food, they have got five kids, and when they got rations from the U.N., plenty, you know, and then the leftover they sell to the illegal refugee. And for me I didn't have any relative to support me in that way, and how I survived was I worked for the elderly, the legal refugee who they were old like the nursing home here, something like that. They cannot go to get rations, go work, because they distributed the water twice a day or something like that and the old people cannot go and get the water, cannot carry the water. I would do that for them and they would give me just a bowl or rice to eat. And at

night I slept on the roof of the hospital, called OP-7, outpatient seven. I slept most of the time on the roof because at that time the Thai's government tried to catch, you know, tried to get the illegal refugee and send back to Cambodia. They doing that, one reason is they got money. If they got -- if they caught an illegal refugee in the camp, in order -some people don't want to go back to Cambodia because we escaped from Cambodia, left many reason behind. If you go back we would be killed by the Communist government in Cambodia. That's why most people didn't go. And then when they were catched by the Thai soldier, some of them were catched by the Thai soldier, they paid Thai soldier the money. The money they got is from the relative abroad. Paid them the money like two or three hundred dollars, then you live free in the camp but you still not legal. You can do whatever you want -- you can live there but you cannot do what you want. And then for me I'm afraid of that. If I was caught and sent back to Cambodia, I would be killed, too, because there is many reason that I left. And then I tried to be away from the Thai soldier by living in the ground. Like live in the ground like a mouse or rat, like an animal, and put a bed inside the ground, something like that. And during the day if I know there is no more Thai soldier walking around looking for illegal refugee, I see outside. And if I see somebody coming, I ran back into the hole and close it up. And no oxygen. I almost die once because they were walking around a very long time, like an hour or something, and a lot of illegal refugee would die. They die from not enough oxygen or something, die in a hole and in the water tank. They tried to hide every place they can, you know. And for me, most of the time is on the roof. And the roof nobody can see because it's high, and I stay on the top of the roof at night because then I can sleep very well. During the day I came down and most of the time it's just around the OP-7and I started to like OP. I saw that if I were accepted to be legal refugee, I would do something or go to school and come back and work for OP, and it was lucky, just my fate that I was accepted to be legal refugee. Then I went to the Cambodian -- Khmer Health Training Center which they train me about western health, western medicine. And I go through that class for about a year and a half. I got contract with IRC which is when I finish school I have to come back and work for IRC, and then I worked for OPD-7 where I used to live, where I had lived for many -- for a long time. Then Dr. Walker, Patricia Walker who is still director of international clinic right now, she was the director of OPD during that time. Then I worked with her. I was the translator and medical translator and also a medic assistant. And that's why I study -- how I start to know her and she sponsored me to come to Minnesota. Is that enough? MR. OGLESBY: Thank you very much. That was very enlightening for us. Thank you for sharing with us. MR. HANG: Thank you.