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An example use of persecute in a speech by a native speaker of american english:
“… penalize persecute and often kill native …”
meanings of persecute
To pursue in a manner to injure, grieve, or afflict; to beset with cruelty or malignity; to harass; especially, to afflict, harass, punish, or put to death for one's race, sexual identity, adherence to a particular religious creed, or mode of worship.
To harass with importunity; to pursue with persistent solicitations; to annoy.