A woman in Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province, in China is now in a coma after suffering months of torture while imprisoned for her spiritual beliefs.
She is an adherent of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, an ancient self-improvement that involves meditation and living according to the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
In 1999 the Chinese regime launched a nationwide persecution of Falun Gong practitioners that is still ongoing. The official press office for Falun Gong, the Falun Dafa Information Center, estimates that millions of Falun Gong adherents have been arrested and detained since the persecution started, often enduring torture and abuse while imprisoned.
Song Shouyun is the latest victim. She was arrested in her home on Oct. 24, 2016, targeted because she refused to renounce her faith, according to a report on Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website dedicated to publishing information on the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
A woman in her 50s, Song was in good health prior to her arrest. Her family members told Minghui.org that when the police ransacked her house, they confiscated her Falun Gong books and a large amount of cash. To date, the police still haven’t returned her books or her money.
Song was detained at the Chaoyang Detention Center, where she was beaten on a regular basis. During the winter months, she was not allowed to wear warm clothes.
On Sept. 29, 2016, at 1:30 a.m., family members received a phone call from the detention center, informing them that Song had been sent to a local hospital.
Upon the family’s arrival at the hospital, they were told Song had suffered a brain hemorrhage and needed to undergo surgery. The hospital doctors told the family Song could remain in a coma for a long time or possibly die. The detention center told them to file a request for medical parole.
Police stopped her family members when they tried to snap a picture of Song.
4,135 adherents are confirmed to have perished from torture and abuse as a result of the persecution, according to Minghui.org, though actual figures are likely much higher due to the secrecy and lack of information from Chinese authorities. Very large numbers of practitioners are believed to have been killed through forced, live organ harvesting, according to researchers.