The witness was a monk until 17 April 1975, when all 19 monks in his pagoda were forcibly defrocked.
He was transferred to a rice cooperative for a few months. He was part of the group referred to as “Monkey Forces” because they were newcomers. He was transferred to another cooperative, where he tasted food for guests to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. Later he was moved to the East Zone. There, he stated, he was overworked and not given enough food, so some people tried to find food in the forest. After this they were all rounded up and arrested for 14 days, during which time they were fed just one or two piece of potato per meal. They were then taken away to be killed. The witness was hit several times over the head but managed to survive, as did one other named Khan.
They untied each other and managed to live for over a month in a cave near their worksite which had been abandoned. The witness had to drink his own urine to survive.