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Lee In-hyeon
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2013-12-26 16:09:41  |  Hit 1472
Files : Lee In-hyeon.docx  

Abductee: Lee In-hyeon
Recorded Date: Oct 31st, 2007

Profile of Abductee
Name: Lee In-hyeon
Date of Birth: November 6, 1906
Place of Birth: Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Last Address: Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Date of Abduction: July, 1950 (Lunar calendar: June 19, age 44)
Place of Abduction: Suwon Police Station (Suwon Internal Police Station)
Occupation: Director of a Financial Association, Head of Town
Dependents: Wife, 1 Son
Appearance/Personality: Robust physique / strong personality

Profile of Testifier
Name: Lee Won-mok (born in 1932)
Relation: Son
Type of Witness: Indirect witness

Summary of the Abduction

- The abductee was a land owner, and a community leader in a town.
- He was classified as rightist anti-communist by the Communist groups.
- He hid himself in a refuge of his relative’s house in Gwang-ju, Gyeonggi-do.
- The 16-years-old only son of abductee was also abducted and tortured harshly at the Internal Police Station.
- While he was in refugee, he heard that his only son was taken to the Internal Police. So, the abductee turned himself in to the Internal Police Station right away. his whereabouts unknown since then.

Description of the Abduction

Q. Please describe the situations when the Korean War broke out.
It was around July, 1950. My family did not think of escaping Seoul as we listened to a broadcast saying there was no need to escape. Then, one day, just like a heavy rainfall in a rainy season, the North Korean soldiers flocked into the town.
At that time, my father was the head of the town. The day before I was abducted, he attended a meeting with the heads of different towns. A doctor who was at the meeting told my father to escape since the Internal Police Officers were looking for him. Without any delay, he fled to Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do.

Q. Please describe how you were abducted.
On July 8, I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling that something was sticking my neck. I saw three people seemingly from the Internal Police Station pointing a sword at me. They told me to stand up and tied my arms. It was very painful but because I was too stunned to even make any screaming sound.
I was only 16 years old, but tortured with no mercy. I still tremble with fear when I think of the moments. I was taken to the Internal Police Station before my father was taken. When the policemen were searching the house, they found a rifle, which was clean and well disassembled, in the closet. I had found the rifle, which belonged to an officer of the Internal Police Station, on the street. However, because they did not know such fact, their suspicion on me grew even more did not mean to do anything with the rifle. I was in the fifth grade in middle school and learned how to disassemble and assemble a rifle during a basic military training. I just disassembled the rifle as I was taught at school. The doctor who had warned my father was also taken into the Internal Police Station on barefoot.

Q. Please describe your abduction more detail.
The Suwon Internal Police Station had 12 cells. Each one was capable of holding 8 to 9 people. However, 20 people were locked up in one cell. All the pain and suffering that I went through being in a tiny cell in hot summer days are beyond description. I could hardly hope for water to wash when there was not enough water to drink. Moreover, I had to sleep in a sitting position, barely bending my knees. Everything smelled bad and dirty.
I was always tortured between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. They asked where my father was. At first, they hung me upside down on a big stick with my arms tied behind. I was forced to stay in that position for 24 hours. It took a day for my twisted arms to recover to normal. Every day was a continuation of pain and suffering.
The next day, Dr. Park Jong-ha who had told my father to flee was brought into my cell after being tortured. He was already in awful shape. I did not know how much he was beaten but his head was bleeding severely. I felt very sorry for him because there was a possibility that he was tortured because he had told my father to run. But there was nothing I could do for him but to take off my underclothes and tied his head with them. I later heard, he was released and moved back to Seoul after being tried in the people’s court twice.
When torturers were interrogating me, they said, “Tell us what your father exploited from the people.” I did not even know the meaning of the word, exploit. I told them I do not know and they tortured me for that. In a torture chamber, there was a telephone, which was used in battlefields. With a wire of the telephone, it was possible to give an electric shock, which made a person to shoot up all the way to 1m. I still have some difficulties using my neck because of the aftereffect of torture.

Finally, Dr. Park and I were given the death sentence. Death row prisoners were usually taken from the Political Defense Department to other places. We were taken to a Kimchi shed of a rich family in Suwon. Prisoners were confined in the shed and were taken outside when their names were called. Then, they were shot to death. Dr. Park and I thought we would die there and hugged each other good-bye. We did not know when our names would be called.
In the afternoon of June 19, they called my name. When I went outside, they told me that I was released because I was not old enough. They also told me to work hard for the people. Right after they finished the sentence, I ran from them without even thinking of taking my belongings. I ran as fast as I could because of the fear that they might fire a shot at my back. I did not know where I got the power to run so fast when I could barely walk because of the torture. It was then I realized that people are capable of everything when they are desperate.
After running for a while, I fell down and passed out. Someone living in the town found me and took care of me. I came around to myself after a week. Without any delay, I went to a mountain, dug an underground tunnel, and hid in the tunnel.

Q. Did you witness how your father was abducted?
No. I just heard that my father turned himself in when he found out that I was taken, saying there is no reason for him to live when I’m dead. I was heartbroken. He did not know that I was alive even after I was sentenced to death. My heart torn apart at the fact that I was the reason that he turned himself in. I took all valuables at home and went to visit him in the Internal Police Station in Suwon. However, the visit was rejected.

Q. What effort did you make to find your father back?
After asking all round, I heard that he was taken to the North, passing Yongin and Singal. At that time, there was a massacre site in Naesa-myeon. It had around 300 bodies and I went there to find my father’s body. I could smell the stench from 100m away. It smelled so bad that I had hard time breathing.
There was a big hole and bodies were covered with tree. Villagers did not bury the bodies for those who would come looking for their family member even though the place smelled terrible. I tried to find my father, but because bodies were decomposed due to hot weather, it was impossible to find him by looking at faces. I remembered that he had two gold front teeth. So I opened the mouth of all bodies to check their teeth but could not find him.

Reason behind the Abduction

Q. Why do you think he was abducted?
He was a land owner and a community leader. At that time, being a community leader itself meant that he was the anti-communist rightist.

News after the Abduction

Q. Did you hear any news about him since then?
When I joined the military police, I found out a servant of our neighbor had informed on my father. He said that my father was the most vicious landowning class of capitalism. He was wearing an armband, provided by the Internal Police Station when we were under the rule of North Korea.
At that time, most leftists were uneducated and did not even finish elementary school. They informed on others not because they were fascinated by Communism or Socialism, but because they had hostility toward rich people. The North Korean Army gave them an armband and made them to act as informants.
That’s all. We still don’t know his whereabouts.
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