Chinese cult member reportedly executed for farmer's murder


Associated Press, July 27, 1999

A member of an obscure cult who tried to get to heaven by killing a farmer has been executed, the official newspaper China Women's Daily reported Tuesday.

Since the government banned the popular meditation sect Falun Gong last week, China's state-run media has been filled with reports of tragedies associated with membership in unsanctioned religious groups.

The report Tuesday in Women's Daily told how Wu Jifa, a poor farmer in southwest China's impoverished Guizhou province, joined a religious cult in 1997 with dreams of getting rich.

According to the report, the cult's leader, a man surnamed Long, claimed people could leave behind the woes and cares of the world if they stood naked by a road with their identification papers on the ground and killed the first person who came along to check the papers.

On June 29, 1998, Wu, his wife Long Zaihua, his cousin Wu Qiugou and the cousin's two sons went to a roadside at dawn, took off their clothes and put their papers on the ground. They grabbed the first farmer who approached, forced him to look at the papers and then stoned him to death, the report said.

It said Wu was executed for murder on May 14. His cousin was given a death sentence, suspended for two years. His wife got life imprisonment, and the two boys, aged 11 and 13, were not prosecuted because they are minors.


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