The well-known Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu has died at the age of 79 years. He revealed torture and flagrant abuses in China's labor camps.
He devoted most of his life to the victims of Chinese governance: Now the dissident and human rights activist Harry Wu has died at the age of 79 years.
The dissident Wu had founded in 1992, the Laogai Research Foundation. He tirelessly denounced the desolate conditions in the same labor camps that have been set already under revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.
The camps were notorious, especially for a brutal handling of political prisoners, where it is estimated millions of people have lost their lives. Wu wrote in his autobiography, he spent different long sentences in a total of twelve Laogai camps. He toiled on farms, in coalmines and factories, was beaten, tortured and nearly starved.
During his studies, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison because he criticized the Soviet Union. In 1979 he was released and went to the USA in 1985.
Wu actively supported Chinese dissidents like the imprisoned Nobel Peace winner Liu Xiaobo. In 1995, Wu was sentenced in China again for alleged espionage to 15 years in prison before he was deported to the USA. In 2008 he founded the Laogai Museum in Washington D.C.
Wu died on Tuesday while vacationing in Honduras. He leaves his wife Ching Lee and a son. "Wu was a real hero," spokeswoman of the Laogai Foundation, Ann Noonan, said in New York. "Harry's work will continue, it will not end."
Translated from the original German, published on April 27, 2016 by Spiegel Online.