Liu Chengjun was recently tortured to death in a labor camp for his practice and support of Falun Gong. Before the persecution began on July 20, 1999, there were approximately 18,000 people practicing Falun Gong in Liu's hometown in Nongan County, Changchun. After July 20, 1999, many practitioners went to Beijing to appeal and were illegally arrested by authorities. To date, at least five Dafa practitioners have died as a result of the persecution, approximately 10 have been sentenced, several hundred sent to labor camps, and several thousand detained and forced to go through brainwashing sessions. The cruel tortures they suffered include being struck in the face, heads smashed against the wall, finger nails hit with wooden sticks, beaten with leather belts, burned with cigarettes, clamps pressuring the legs, pins nailed into fingers, hanging, force-feeding, etc. Some torture instruments used on the practitioners include handcuffs, shackles on the feet, shackles and handcuffs used together, the "Tiger Bench"* and others. At present, there are still Dafa practitioners from Liu Chengjun's hometown being persecuted in prisons.

Mr. Pan Gang worked for the land tax bureau. Because he persisted in practicing Falun Gong and refused to give up his belief, he was sent to the local brainwashing class in October 2002 by the Nongan County Land Tax Bureau.

In January 2003, Mr. Pan went to Beijing to appeal and was sent to his hometown Nongan by an agent in Beijing. In March 2003, he was sentenced to one year of forced labor education and sent to Chaoyanggou Labor Camp by the Nongan County Police Station. During that period of time, he was confined in a small cell. They used numerous torture tools to force him to give up practicing cultivation, but Mr. Pan refused all of their tricks.

In October 2003, Chaoyanggou Labor Camp held a meeting to slander Dafa. Mr. Pan shouted in a stern voice, "Do not slander Dafa." As a result the police brutally tortured him. Mr. Pan protested by conducting a hunger strike, and he was force-fed. His two front teeth came loose during the torture. Right now he can only drink a little milk. He is extremely thin, cannot walk, and has bruises and scabies over his entire body.

On September 26, 1999, Mr. Zou Yanming from Halahai Town was taken away by the local police for no reason and forced to write a guarantee statement. Zou Yanming refused, so he was sent to the second detention center in Nongan County, where he was imprisoned until January 3, 2000.

On the 11th of the first lunar month, 2000, the local police asked Dafa practitioners to participate in a brainwashing class and demanded money from practitioners. Each Dafa practitioner was forced to pay 3,000 Yuan RMB (average monthly income of a Chinese worker is about 500 Yuan). Mr. Zou and his wife both practiced cultivation and were therefore required to pay 6,000 Yuan. Because they did not have money to hand over, Mr. Zou was monitored by his company and not allowed to go home. Everything was stolen from his home, and he was sent to the local detention center. On April 27, he was sentenced to one year of forced labor education and sent to Weizigou Labor Camp, Changchun. In the labor camp, he was forced to kneel on a wooden stool, and was beaten and cursed at every day. His family members were not allowed to visit him. The labor camp used all kinds of methods to persecute him including extending his prison term by seven months, but they did not reach their goal of having him give up his beliefs. Mr. Zou was released from the labor camp openly and aboveboard, and joined the mighty current of Fa-rectification once again.

On November 7, 2002, he was arrested by the police from politics administration of Luyuan District, Changchun City. After he was brutally tortured for one day and one night, he was sent to Chaoyanggou Labor Camp and sentenced to two years. Because of the severe persecution, Mr. Zou's hands and feet could not move, and he could not take care of himself for several months.

Because Ms. Zhang Dianrong and Ms. Zhao Xiuxiang from Nongan helped to produce materials that clarify the truth about Falun Dafa, they were arrested successively at the end of 2002. Both were brutally tortured in Nongan and Changchun. Ms. Zhang became crippled due to persecution, and was left paralyzed in bed for over one year. The public security bureau feared the exposure, so they repeatedly moved Ms. Zhang and did not let her family members find her. Ms. Zhao was physically abused until blood spilled from her mouth and she fell unconscious. At present she is in a hospital in Changchun. Further details of these two cases are currently under investigation.

In Nongan Detention Center, Ms. Fu Guijie, Ms. Fu Dexiu and another lady who had been sentenced to heavy prison terms, were fitted with instruments of torture. Their current situation is unclear.

*Tiger Bench: Practitioners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead. They are not allowed to turn their heads, close their eyes, talk to anyone or move at all. Several inmates are assigned to watch over the practitioners and force them to remain motionless while sitting on the bench. Usually some hard objects are inserted underneath the practitioners' lower legs or ankles to make it harder for them to tolerate this abuse (see illustration on )