NEW YORK, December 24, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center)—Eyewitnesses reported two more female Falun Gong practitioners killed in custody in separate incidents. These deaths bring the current toll of confirmed deaths to 329, although reliable sources inside the Chinese government say the actual number exceeds 1,600 as of October, 2001.Ms. Zuo Shuchun was killed during the act of force-feeding in Baimalong Labor Camp in Hunan Province in March 2001. On the fourth day of a hunger strike by a number of mistreated Falun Gong practitioners, guards shoved down her throat a long bamboo tube that had been cut and sharpened. She died shortly thereafter.The hunger strike came in response to the treatment of two practitioners in team No. 2 of the labor camp, who didn’t answer roll call quickly enough one morning. Policemen reacted by furiously beating the two, Hu Yuehui and Wu Aijun, for hours until they were black and blue all over their bodies, sources say.This labor camp for women, Baimalong, has developed a reputation for its cruelty such that its name is used as a threat to force women in some work units outside to denounce Falun Gong. Family members are not allowed to visit detainees, and information about conditions inside is vigorously blocked from reaching the outside world. Some details for this report were provided by former detainees.Practitioners are forced to do 10 hours of hard labor every day. They are routinely abused in a number of ways. On February 5th, Xong Ruilian and Peng Daohui were sitting in meditation when policemen handcuffed them and hung them from the bars on the windows with their feet suspended. On February 10th, the police hung 70 practitioners in this fashion. Some of them became incontinent. Peng Daohui was among them. When she cried for help, policemen ignored her. They let her down only after she lost consciousness. Since then, practitioners are frequently handcuffed in like manner, often until they lose consciousness.Other punishments at Baimalong include being forced to stand for a whole night in freezing weather, overtime labor, kicking, and beating and shocking with electric batons. In the second reported death, Ms. Li Xiumei, 58 from Dalian City, Liaoning Province, died on December 16, 2001. She was detained in Yaojia Detention Center in Dalian City, where she went on a hunger strike. She was sent to a hospital when she was near death, and died after rescue attempts failed."These two incidents happened in two different regions of China," said Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Gail Rachlin. "But they demonstrate the pervasive mentality of extreme reaction to non-violent behavior, such as hunger strikes." Ms. Rachlin continued, "Jiang Zemin and the 610 Office have emboldened police to act recklessly against good people. As the information finds its way outside the labor camps, prisons, and detention centers, good people all over China and throughout the world are having their eyes opened to the evil of this persecution."