Schoolteacher Dies Ten Days Before Release from Custody, Family Suspects Organ Harvesting
On November 8, 2020, ten days before Mr. Pan Xujun’s scheduled release from Hongzehu Prison, his family was summoned to the prison to visit him. When they got there, they saw his body in the mortuary. While a prison doctor claimed he died of stroke, Pan’s family suspect that he was killed for his organs.
Pan, a middle school English teacher from Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, was arrested in May 2015 and sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison in 2016 for his faith. He was incarcerated at Hongzehu Prison after the trial.
Pan had prior been arrested in 2002 and sentenced to sentenced 9 years for his faith at the same prison, during which he sustained serious injuries and tortured near death. Pan was then subjected to intensive medical examinations and tests.
Tortured Near Death
During Pan’s first prison term, he was subjected to beatings, long-term sleep deprivation, restricted restroom use, and force-feeding. In the winter, police also poured cold water in his clothes and shoes or boiling water on his feet.
Pan was also handcuffed to a warehouse shelf with his hands behind his back for hours. Another time he was tied up with a specifically made belt to keep his hands around his waist.
On one occasion, the guards put him in a chokehold and nearly suffocated him.
Between February and May 2009, Pan held a hunger strike to protest the persecution and demanded to be immediately released.
The guards then began a nine-month program of intensive torture in retaliation, beating Pan constantly, force-fed, and denied sleep for days. Pan became very weak and emaciated from the torture and his blood pressure plummeted after nine months. He suffered from short-term memory loss, sometimes not being able to remember events occurring on the same day.
Sometimes Pan was also unable to feel his heartbeat. He once fainted when bending over while doing forced labor, taking a while to regain consciousness.
Alarming Health Exams
When Pan was near death from the torture, Gan, the president of the prison hospital, twice subjected him to electrocardiograms.
He was also taken by guards to the Suqian City Hospital for tests and given a liver function test and nurses frequently drew his and other inmates’ blood while the guards stood nearby with electric batons.
The guards never explained the reason for his taking the tests and the doctors never discussed the results with him. The frequent and extensive health exams during Pan’s first prison term, however, made Pan and his family suspect he may have been targeted for organ harvesting.
His family believes his information was stored in a database for organ matching and he was selected after his second prison sentence in 2015.