NEW YORK, December 20, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center)—Sources confirmed another four people have been tortured to death by public security officers in China because they refused to give in to pressure from Chinese police to give up their beliefs and stop practicing Falun Gong.Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson, Gail Rachlin, said, "Chinese President Jiang Zemin has called this the ‘golden age of human rights’ in China, but this ‘golden age’ has resulted in the deaths of over 1,600 innocent citizens who practice Falun Gong ... millions have been devastated by this persecution. This is state terrorism."These deaths bring the current toll of confirmed deaths to 326, although reliable sources inside China say the actual number exceeds 1,600 as of October, 2001. For more information and documentation regarding the ongoing brutality by the Chinese government against practitioners of Falun Gong, please visit the Falun Dafa Information Center on the web, at www.faluninfo.net.She was forced to wear heavy shackles and handcuffs and was often jolted with electric batonsMs. Liu Huanqing, a 58-year-old mother from Hebei Province, was a practitioner of Falun Gong who was tortured to death because she refused to give in to pressure from Chinese police to give up her beliefs. Sources say while in the 2nd Handan Detention Center, she was forced to wear heavy shackles and handcuffs and was often jolted with electric batons all over her body, causing severe physical and mental harm. Her body weight dropped from about 150 pounds (70 kilograms) to less than 88 pounds (40 kilograms). To avoid bearing any responsibility, officials allowed Liu’s relatives to take her back home when they could see she was dying. She died within a month after she was sent home. Both her husband, Mr. Li Gangcai and their son Li Shitou, a graduate student and lecturer at the prestigious Tianjin University, are also practitioners of Falun Gong and are still being held in detention. The Fuxing District Public Security Bureau had detained both Liu and her husband on a number of occasions for speaking out to clear the name of Falun Dafa.When he died, his hands were swollen with pus and he was still in handcuffsMr. Yang Yi, 38 years old, was an engineer with the Wengfu Phosphorus Mine in Fuquan City, Guizhou Province. He started practicing Falun Gong in 1996. On December 26, 2000, Yang Yi was arrested while distributing materials in Fuquan City that reveal the human rights abuses against Falun Gong and was later sentenced to seven years of labor "re-education." In the detention center, because Yang Yi refused to inform on other practitioners, he was brutally beaten by the police and his right shinbone was broken from being kicked. Early this year, when Yang’s mother-in-law went to visit him in the hospital, she discovered that his right leg was covered with marks from being kicked. However, police claimed that Yang had broken his leg by falling down. This October, when Yang’s family members went to visit him, they discovered that his physical condition was very weak and he had lost a lot of hair, but it was not until November 15 that he was allowed outside medical treatment. When Yang was brought from the detention center into the hospital, he was emaciated and dying. He could not eat and vomited everything that was fed to him, including water. Yang passed away the next day. When he died, his hands were swollen with pus and he was still in handcuffs. The Fuquan detention center has confirmed his death to reporters, but as for the details, they only said: the Falun Gong issue has been designated a political issue, so they can’t say much. Yang’s boss was afraid to speak about his death, saying to reporters, "Please don’t ask."He became very thin and his face was ashenReports have recently come in that practitioner Mr. Hou Zhanhai was subjected to a brutal round of beatings and torture for three days straight from March 12 to 14, 2001 in Jilin City Labor Camp in Liaoning province. Police struck at Hou Zhanhai with police batons, resulting in pains in his chest area, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood. On March 27, he was transferred to Liaoyuan Labor Camp where he was forced to do hard labor and was still often beaten. He became very thin and his face was ashen. His condition worsened daily. In August, the Labor Camp officials released Hou on "medical parole," but after about three months, Hou passed away.She vomited blood and passed out after the beatingsZhang Min from Yilan County in Helongjiang Province was arrested along with eight others on November 29 for handing out Falun Gong flyers. Just six days later, on December 5, she had been tortured to death by officials from Yilan County Public Security Bureau. Sources say an official named Han Yunjie, in particular, tried to force her to tell him the source of the flyers. Zhang refused, so Han handcuffed her and strung her up by the wrists on the pipe for the heater. As she hung there, he punched her chest, her eyes, and her temples and then grabbed her hair to slam her head against the wall. Zhang Min’s arms were blistered and burned from the heating pipe. She vomited blood and passed out after the beatings. But Han Yunjie would not stop there. He poured water on Zhang Min to make her regain consciousness and then beat her again until she lost control of her bladder. This kind of torture lasted for more than 60 hours. Then Zhang Min was sent to the Yilan County No. 2 Detention Center. Witnesses say Zhang Min was groaning from the pain of her severe wounds and she kept vomiting blood. She was then sent to the Yilan County No. 2 Detention Center where she was force-fed with four bottles of concentrated salt water. She passed out on the spot. Former cell inmates say that when they saw her condition after she was carried back to the cell, they all wept. It has been confirmed that Zhang died from suffocation as a result of the salt water entering her lungs. Inside sources say an urgent secret meeting was held in the Yilan County Public Security Bureau to destroy all evidence of this murder. They were to ensure that her family would not file suit. Officials told her family that Zhang had died of a heart attack, although she has no previous history of heart disease.