NEW YORK\u2014A 39-year-old pharmacist held at a prison camp in Guizhou province died in custody in mid-January after years of torture that reportedly left him unable to walk, the Falun Dafa Information Center (FDIC) learned recently. Hu Dali (???) from Xiuwen county is the first Falun Gong practitioner known to have been killed by the Chinese authorities in 2011.\u00a0 "As millions of families across China celebrate the new year together, Hu Dali's is faced with the sudden news that their son, brother, and cousin is never coming home," says FDIC Executive Director Levi Browde. \u201cHu\u2019s death is not only a tragic loss for his family, it is a loss for his whole community. Honest and caring individuals in the medical profession like Hu have an impact on society far beyond their personal circle of friends and relatives.\u201d Hu had worked at the local traditional Chinese medicine hospital. When the Communist Party launched its persecution of Falun Gong, Hu was detained and sent to a labor camp from 1999 to 2002 after going to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice freely. At the time of his release, the authorities sought to force him to sign a statement denouncing Falun Gong, but Hu refused.Soon after, Hu was abducted again and in August 2003, sentenced in a secret, sham trial to ten years in prison. During his time in custody, Hu\u2019s family members were repeatedly denied access to him. However, others imprisoned with Hu informed them that he had been severely tortured and, as a result, lost almost complete use of his legs, forcing him to walk with crutches.On January 19, 2011, personnel from Dujun City No. 4 prison called Hu\u2019s family and told them to come to the prison to pick him up. When three of his siblings arrived, they learned that Hu was already dead. They were forced to agree to immediate cremation of his remains and returned the next day to his hometown with his ashes.Those acquainted with Hu remember him as a kind, honest pharmicist who refused to cheat the system. Those who were detained with him recall his repeated encouragement to fellow Falun Gong practitioners and courageous, confident perseverance in his faith despite brutal torture.Since 1999, Hu and those around him have been victimized in multiple ways by the Communist Party\u2019s relentless efforts to persecute him. His colleagues at the hospital were denied their year-end bonuses as a form of collective punishment for Hu\u2019s decision to appeal in Beijing. His fianc\u00e9e was repeatedly pressured by the authorities, eventually forcing her to break off their engagement. His sister was fired from her job because of her brother\u2019s connection to Falun Gong. And in 2004, his mother, who was also a Falun Gong practitioner, passed away after her health deteriorated due to the combined pressure on her and the stress of discovering her son had been sentenced to ten years in prison.