Harry Wu


Age: 79

Chinese human rights activist and former political prisoner who dedicated his later life to exposing abuses in China's brutal prison labor camp system in Shanghai that saw most of its property confiscated after the civil war victory of Mao Zedong's Communists in 1949, who fell afoul of the authorities for his criticism of the Soviet Union (China's then-ally) and was sentenced in 1960 at age 23 to China's prison camp system known as laogai (or "reform through labor"), which was notorious for punishing intellectuals and political prisoners with long sentences and brutal conditions as the camps were blamed by some for causing millions of deaths, who spent various terms in 12 different camps experiencing harsh work regimens on farms, coal mines, and work sites along with beatings, torture, and near starvation, but who was released in 1979 after Mao's death in 1976 and moved to the United States in 1985, where he taught, wrote, and founded the Laogai Research Foundation.

Cause of Death: Undisclosed causes

Born: February 8, 1937

Died: April 26, 2016