Ieng Thirith, a Khmer Rouge leader who was the highest-ranking woman in the genocidal regime that oversaw the death of nearly 2 million Cambodians in the late 1970s, died Aug. 22, her family and U.N. officials said. She was 83.The former professor of English in Phnom Penh left teaching in the 1960s, along with other Cambodian intellectuals trained in Paris, to live in the jungle and plot their socialist utopia. In 1975, when, with U.S. forces withdrawn, the Khmer Rouge took power, she was named Minister of Social Affairs. Her sister was Pol Pot's wife.
Her son, Ieng Vuth, said she had been suffering from dementia, heart troubles and other health problems. No other details were available.
Ieng Thirith was a sister-in-law of the Khmer Rouge’s late supreme leader, Pol Pot. A Sorbonne-educated Shakespeare scholar, she served as minister of social affairs and was married to Ieng Sary, the regime’s former foreign minister, who died in 2013 at age 87.
She never was tried for her crimes, as, by the time a United Nations' tribunal got around to her in 2012 she was unable to comprehend what was going on, thanks to Alzheimer's Disease.