Ms. Wu Zexiu Dies as a Result of Persecution in Spite of China's Renewed Guarantee of Constitutional Rights
Ms. Wu Zexiu, a Falun Gong practitioner from Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, China, passed away alone at the age of 75 on December 20, 2013. Before she died, Ms. Wu had been persecuted for her faith in Falun Gong since July 1999 when the Chinese Communist regime decided to ban it.
For five years she was incarcerated in different brainwashing facilities and forced labor camps where she faced a long litany of torture and abuse. The authorities continued to harass her after she was released in 2007, which made her decide to sell her home and go into hiding to avoid further persecution.
Background of Arrests and Abuse
Her misfortunes began when the regime announced its decision to suppress Falun Gong in 1999. Ms. Wu decided that she would join her fellow practitioners in exercising her constitutional right to appeal for Falun Gong and keep practicing it. After all, she knew that Falun Gong had restored her own health.
She traveled over 1,330 miles from Guizhou to Beijing, intending to appear at the State Appeals Office, but she ended up being illegally arrested after she arrived in Beijing and had since been on the authorities' watch list.
The arrest and subsequent two-week detention, which took place without any proper legal proceedings, did not stop her from speaking up for Falun Gong. But she paid dearly - she would serve time in forced brainwashing facilities three times, and forced labor camps twice over the next decade.
Ms. Wu was last arrested on January 4, 2004, in Guizhou Province for distributing materials containing important facts about Falun Gong. She was sent to Guizhou Province Woman's Forced Labor Camp four days later.
According to Ms. Wu, guards encouraged the drug offenders in the camp to abuse Falun Gong practitioners in exchange for a pardon or a term reduction. They would deny her of her basic needs and humiliate her.
"Because I refused to renounce Falun Gong," Ms. Wu recounted, "I was forbidden to buy toilet paper. The drug offenders only let me use the bathroom when they felt like it. Sometimes I had no choice but to soil my pants."
She also reported physical violence and torture at their hands.
"They would hit and kick me when they were in a bad mood. I was made to stand absolutely still for long periods of time. I was denied sleep and forbidden to even wink."
Ms. Wu also reported on the camp's suspicious use of psychiatric drugs as an adjunct in its attempts to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners.
"Guards Deng Jun and Jiao Xia ordered a drug offender to put something in my food and made me eat it. I felt very dizzy afterwards. My mind became muddled, and I could not even stand up.
"They then made me watch hate propaganda videos and read literature that slandered Falun Gong over and over again, and then write reports."
Constant Harassment Until Her Death
After she was finally released, she sold her home where she had planned to spend the rest of her life and fled from the authorities after frequently unannounced "visits" and random phone calls from the state security bureau, police department, and the local residence committee.
China's new leader Xi Jinping guaranteed during his speech at the 30th National Congress in January 2013: “No organization or individual has the special right to overstep the constitution or law. Any violation of the constitution or the law must be investigated."
Ms. Wu's constitutional rights were not protected. In fact, she faced severe punishment before she died because she challenged the regime's unconstitutional order that had banned her faith.
She died in late 2013, less than a year after Xi's speech.
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Wu Zexiu (吴泽秀) Gender: Female Age: 75 Address: Unknown Occupation : PhD student of medicine at Jilin University Date of Death: December 20, 2013 Date of Most Recent Arrest: January 4, 2004 Most Recent Place of Detention: Guizhou Province Woman’s Forced Labor Camp (贵州省女子劳教所) City: Guiyang Province: Guizhou Persecution Suffered : Sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, forced injections/drug administration, beatings, imprisonment, torture, detention, denial of restroom use, denied visitation