Human rights organizations have documented more than 100,000 cases of severe abuse or torture of Falun Gong practitioners, but that number is believed to be a small portion of the real total. Of the more than 4,000 confirmed deaths of Falun Gong adherents in China, the vast majority were caused by torture. A 2006 report by the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture says that two-thirds of the torture cases listed for China were of Falun Gong.

Used for decades by Chinese Communist Party police to extort confessions from suspects and targets of political campaigns, torture is now being used against Falun Gong practitioners to force them to renounce their faith. Both physical and mental torture techniques are used.

The way mental and physical torture are combined can be seen in the brief excerpt below from the Washington Post, which describes the typical ordeal countless Falun Gong adherents have faced:

Torture is Breaking Falun Gong, Washington Post

At a police station in western Beijing, Ouyang was stripped and interrogated for five hours. “If I responded incorrectly, that is if I didn’t say, ‘Yes,’ they shocked me with the electric truncheon,” he said.

Then, he was transferred to a labor camp in Beijing’s western suburbs. There, the guards ordered him to stand facing a wall. If he moved, they shocked him. If he fell down from fatigue, they shocked him.

Each morning, he had five minutes to eat and relieve himself. “If I didn’t make it, I went in my pants,” he said. “And they shocked me for that, too.”

By the sixth day, Ouyang said, he couldn’t see straight from staring at plaster three inches from his face. His knees buckled, prompting more shocks and beatings. He gave in to the guards’ demands.

For the next three days, Ouyang denounced [Falun Gong’s] teachings, shouting into the wall. Officers continued to shock him about the body and he soiled himself regularly. Finally, on the 10th day, Ouyang’s repudiation of the group was deemed sufficiently sincere.

He was taken before a group of Falun Gong inmates and rejected the group one more time as a video camera rolled. Ouyang left jail and entered the brainwashing classes. Twenty days later after debating Falun Gong for 16 hours a day, he “graduated.”

Human rights workers have compiled over 100 methods of corporal torture used against Falun Gong practitioners. Below are a few examples of such methods.

Once in detention, Falun Gong adherents—young and old, male or female—are routinely subject to various forms of psychological and physical torture in an effort to break their will. —Freedom House, 2017