Falun Gong Practitioner Tortured to Death in Henan Prison Camp

Monetary incentives to camp guards reward 'transformation,' torture of Falun Gong detainees

NEW YORK—A 46-year-old resident of Henan province who was abducted in March 2009 while talking to people in public about Falun Gong died in Zhengzhou prison camp last month, the Falun Dafa Information Center has learned.

Mr. Tian Yun (??) was from Houguolei Village of Henan in Central China. Shortly after being detained on March 27, 2009, Tian was “sentenced” in a sham trial at Hui County Court to three years in a prison camp. He was subsequently taken to Zhengzhou Prison (????) in Xinmin.

According to sources inside China, Tian was beaten, shocked with electric batons, and deprived of water at the prison camp. The camp guards tried to force Tian to denounce Falun Gong but he refused. He continued to be tortured and died in custody as a result of the abuse.

“At a time when the Chinese authorities have announced new regulations prohibiting the submission of torture as evidence, Tian’s case is a typical illustration of how much deliberate, life-threatening torture takes place AFTER conviction, particularly against Falun Gong practitioners,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Erping Zhang. “Indeed, reports from former detainees indicate that guards are given monetary rewards and incentives to ‘transform’ practitioners, a policy that directly encourages torture.”

Approximately 200 other Falun Gong practitioners are reportedly still being held at Zhengzhou Prison. They are at risk of severe torture as guards seek to “transform” them—a term the Congressional-Executive Commission on China defined as “a process of ideological reprogramming whereby practitioners are subjected to various methods of physical and psychological coercion until they recant their belief in Falun Gong.”

According to reports from former detainees at the camp, guards receive two to four thousand yuan for “transforming” each Falun Gong practitioner, while the prison authorities use various incentives to entice criminal inmates to participate in torturing and forcibly converting practitioners.

A total of 3,383 Falun Gong practitioners are documented to have died due to various forms of persecution since 1999, though the true death toll is believed to be several times higher. 

Additional background

Known locally for his bad temper, Tian had begun practicing Falun Gong in 1998 while suffering from poor health. According to his acquaintances, in addition to his health improving after taking up the practice, Tian’s conduct soon changed dramatically and he became known for his integrity, filial piety, and good work ethic. Tian’s recent internment was his second arbitrary imprisonment—he had previously spent time in a “re-education through labor” camp after being detained while traveling to Beijing to peacefully protest against the persecution in 2001.

Related Links:

Washington Post: Torture is Breaking Falun Gong: /article/566/?cid=67

2010 Falun Dafa Information Center Annual Report: “Transformation” and Forced Religious Conversion: /article/1022/

10 Common “Transformation” Tactics: /article/1033/

Rape, Beatings and Betrayal Typify “Transformation” of Former Top Student: /article/1053/?cid=84