NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center) \u2013 Four more Falun Dafa practitioners have tragically died in police custody, including an elderly man, Liu Shiyou, a middle-aged woman named Pei Ouhua, an unidentified woman, and a man named Mr. Yan. News of these deaths have only now come to light between six months and more than a year after they took place due to the strict information blockade in China.Liu Shiyou, male, was 72 years old.\u00a0He was sent back from Beijing to a detention center in Hengyang in June, 2000 where he was beaten so badly by criminal inmates acting under orders from the guards that witnesses say he was covered in wounds and bruises and his body became bloated. He was hastily released when it became clear that he was dying. Two days later, he passed away at home.Pei Ouhua, female, 56, was an accountant.\u00a0She went to Beijing in October of 1999, and was later sent back to Hunan and detained in the Baishajou detention center. Police kicked her lower body until she fell to the ground and was unable to get up. She had to be carried home and died shortly thereafter.An unidentified woman who had gone on a hunger strike in a labor camp choked and suffocated to death as camp officials attempted to force-feed her.\u00a0The incident occurred in late January or early February of this year around the time of Chinese New Year at the Baima Labor Camp in Zhuzhou, Hunan Province. Further details surrounding her death have been blocked by the labor camp. It has, however, become a common practice for Chinese police and labor camp officials to force-feed hunger-strikers by pouring mixtures of coarse salt or corn gruel down plastic tubes either inserted down the victims\u2019 nose or throat. In previously reported cases, the feeding has been so violent that the tubes have ruptured the windpipes and even the lungs and stomach of the victim, causing death.These three Falun Gong practitioners were killed in the southern province of Hunan. The agencies involved have refused to comment.Sources say Mr. Yan of Guangdong Province died from torture in the Baiyun Area Mental Hospital in December 2000.\u00a0He had gone with his mother, sister, and his 8 month-old nephew to Beijing to make a peaceful and legal appeal to the Chinese government. However, all of them were detained along with dozens of other Falun Gong practitioners. Witnesses say they were badly mistreated in the detention center, so many practitioners there conducted a hunger strike in protest. Mr. Yan was later sent to a mental hospital where reports say he was tortured to death. It is believed that some members of his family were tortured and possibly even killed.The total number of documented deaths from the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China has now reached 285, although government sources inside China disclose that the actual number exceeds 1,000.More than 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally arrested and detained since Jiang Zemin banned the peaceful spiritual practice in July, 1999. All of them face the threat of being mistreated, tortured, and even killed if they will not sign documents to renounce their beliefs.