« back to From the Frontline home

Jon Swain remembers Dith Pran

Sunday Times war reporter Jon Swain remembers Dith Pran, the man who saved his life in Cambodia in 1975 and who died last week,
I first met Pran in 1972. Although his loyalty was always to Schanberg, he was ready to give help and advice to me and all the other journalists. Never more so than on April 17, 1975 – the day of the fall of Phnom Penh. On that same day Schanberg, Al Rockoff, an American photographer, and I were captured by the Khmer Rouge. A squad of teenage soldiers with hate-filled eyes forced us into a captured armoured personnel carrier (APC). Pran, realising we were going to be executed, selflessly argued to be allowed to join us inside, knowing full well that without his communication skills we were doomed. link