NEW YORK, March 14, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – During the week of Bush’s visit to China, two Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted to death. One died on the very day that Bush spoke out for human rights and religious freedom at Tsinghua University.Yue Kai Dies After More Than Two Years of PersecutionMr. Yue Kai, 29, a former employee of Yushu Transformation Company, Jilin Province, had repeatedly been the target of arrest and torture since Jiang Zemin illegally banned Falun Gong. In July 1999, both he and his wife, Li Shuying, were arrested because of their beliefs and detained for two months They were arrested again February 10, 2000 on Tiananmen Square, receiving sentences of a year of forced labor for their peaceful appeal. Yue Kai was sent to Weizigou Forced Labor Camp. He and other practitioners there with him were forced to dig up and haul away the silt that had collected in a bathing area in Kalun Lake, Changchun City. They toiled each day from 5 in the morning to 7 at night. They were not allowed breaks, even when seriously hurt in on-the-job accidents. Beatings were given to those the guards felt weren’t working quickly enough.After a couple of weeks, Yue Kai’s arms, legs and hands were covered with festering sores, while other areas of his body were infected with scabies from the unclean living conditions. Still, his workload was not reduced. After his work in the lake was finished, he was required to haul concrete floor slabs. His work days began as early as 3 a.m. and finished as late as 9 p.m. In July 2000, Yue Kai and others who had resisted all efforts to coerce them to renounce their practice of Falun Gong were taken to Fengjin Forced Labor Camp for a brainwashing class. Unable to shake Yue Kai’s determination, he was later transferred to Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp where he was brutally tortured to the brink of death, and then hastily sent to a police hospital. Reduced to skin and bone, camp officials ordered Yue’s relatives to take him home, trying to shirk responsibility for his death, which came shortly thereafter on February 28, 2002.As Bush Lectures in China About Human Rights, Practitioner is Tortured to DeathOn Feb. 22, 2002, at 9 p.m., shortly after US President George Bush delivered his speech to Tsinghua University students pointing to the need for improvements in China’s respect of human rights and the right to freely choose one’s belief, Liu Qiusheng died from the torture he received because of his beliefs. After numerous peaceful appeals in Beijing, Liu Qiusheng had returned home to be with his family. On Feb. 2, 2002, Fucheng County policemen barged into Liu’s home. They dragged him out to the yard and beat him violently, tearing out hair and leaving him covered with dirt. As his 65-year old mother tried to stop them, the police beat her to the ground. Both Liu and his mother were taken to the police station, where Liu was bound to a chair and beaten for approximately two hours until he lost consciousness. His face was left deformed, his ears black and blue. On February 23rd, 2002, Liu’s son, Liu Dong, was informed that his father had died the night before and the son was brought to the hospital to identify Liu’s body. His son observed that Liu’s chest was black and blue with bruises, and his back was full of clogged blood spots. Liu’s wife observed his right ear, the right side of his face, and his entire chest were all black and purple. Despite protest from his wife and son, Liu’s body was removed by police and cremated on February 25th. BackgroundFalun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices in China, such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries. With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China’s President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of over 375 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600. Over 100,000 have been detained, with more than 20,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps without trial.