A memorial ceremony in honor of Ahn Byeong-ha was held in Gwangju on Saturday. The former police senior superintendent general died from after-effect caused by torture that he had undergone for rejecting orders from the then military coup group during the May 18 Gwangju democratization uprising in 1980.
The Ahn Byeong-ha memorial foundation held a memorial ceremony at the former South Jeolla provincial government building to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of his death and to remember his sacrifice.
“We have organized a memorial ceremony in Gwangju to pay respect to the late Mr. Ahn who sacrificed his life to protect citizens,” said Lee Ju-yeon, the secretary general of the foundation. “My father lamented that he failed to protect citizens, colleagues and family members even while suffering from disease caused by torture for eight years,” Ahn’s son Ho-jae said on behalf of his bereaved family. “I hope that the government erects a small monument to remember sacrifice and contributions of police officers who risked lives to protect citizens.”
The foundation also held a memorial ceremony at police officers’ graveyard at the Seoul National Cemetery in Seoul’s Dongjak-dong on Sunday.
Anh, a graduate of the Korean Military academy, received the Hwarang military medal of honor for his contributions at Chuncheon battle and Dongrak-ri battle during the Korean War. He joined police in 1962, and served as the chief of the South Jeolla Provincial Police Department during the 1980 uprising, when he ejected the military coup group’s order to suppress and open fire at protestors by using violence, and treated injured Gwangju citizens instead.
The military coup group dismissed Ahn from the post and took him to the Military Intelligence Unit where they tortured him. As a result, he suffered illness before dying on Oct. 10, 1988.
Hyeong-Ju Lee firstname.lastname@example.org