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Korean independence activist inducted into Int'l Civil Rights Walk of Fame

All Headlines 10:18 January 07, 2012

ATLANTA, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- An activist who fought to help Korea regain independence from Japanese colonial rule in the early 20th century has been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, organizers for the ceremony said Friday.

Ahn Chang-ho was the first East Asian honored in the walk of fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, according to the Trumpet Awards Foundation Inc., the organization that selects international civil rights icons for the site.

The foundation, which has sponsored the event, praised Ahn as a person who gave hope and light to the multitude of Koreans who suffered under Japan's oppressive rule from 1910 through 1945.

Ahn, born in 1878 in South Pyongan Province in current day North Korea, was one of the first to immigrate to the United States where he played a role in helping his homeland gain independence and democracy.

He was one of the founders of Korea's provisional government and was a statesman, educator and freedom fighter all his life until his death in 1938.

Ahn and eight others were inducted on Friday, raising the total number of people honored to 102. Past honorees include such notables as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and singer and civil rights activist Stevie Wonder.

Living relatives and supporters who helped the Korean civil rights activist get inducted into the walk of fame, meanwhile, said they plan to raise a statue of Ahn so it can be placed next to the statue of India's Mohandas Gandhi.

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