(Minghui.org) Ms. Lu Guifen woke up from thirst around 3 a.m. on February 5, 2018. A guard on duty noted she couldn't move and handed her a cup of water. She took it but then suddenly fell down and lost consciousness. She has remained comatose ever since.

Ms. Lu, in her 60s, was arrested in March 2012 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. She was sentenced to 8 years and ordered to serve time in Tianjin Women's Prison.

The prison authorities tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade Ms. Lu's family to take her home after she fell into a coma. Her loved ones learned from insiders that she had been abused on a regular basis, and they refused to allow the prison to shirk its responsibility for her deteriorating health and sudden coma.

Ms. Lu is now in the prison hospital, where she is watched closely by two inmates around the clock. The prison authorities told other Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned there that they are doing their best to treat Ms. Lu when, in fact, all they have done is put her on an IV.

Forced to Stand for 18 Hours

Newly admitted Falun Gong practitioners are all forced to stand for extended periods of time during their first few days of imprisonment. Ms. Lu was not spared. She was kept in a small room with two inmates watching her around the clock. She was forced to stand from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. The standing time was extended when she refused to write statements renouncing Falun Gong.

Forced to Do Hard Labor Without Pay

Ms. Lu was later forced to do hard labor without pay for more than 12 hours every day. The prison policy is that inmates must work and finish their quota as long as they are able to stand on their feet. The quota was so high that the inmates often had to work 12 hours or longer. Those who failed to finish were severely punished. They were not allowed to sleep. Instead, they had to write the prison rules many times.

All inmates must also work a 1.5-hour night shift to stay on guard while others slept. Falun Gong practitioners, including Ms. Lu, often had to start their shift at 4 a.m., so they had almost no time to sleep.

Ms. Lu struggled to keep up with the grueling schedule, and her health kept deteriorating. Another practitioner imprisoned there saw her around November 2017 and noted that she was having trouble walking. The practitioner also saw Ms. Lu being forced to take unknown pills.

Family Devastated

Ms. Lu's husband died of illness when she was only in her 30s. It was Falun Gong that gave her hope. She raised her son by herself and was happy to see him admitted to a very good university.

Her son was devastated when his mother was arrested in March 2012 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. Due to the abuse she suffered in detention, Ms. Lu soon developed heart ailments and stroke symptoms and was rushed to a hospital. She wasn't granted medical parole until her son agreed to pay them 18,000 yuan.

The local police told Ms. Lu on December 5, 2012, that she had to get a medical exam and they came to pick her up. Her son asked to accompany her. He was allowed to get in the police cruiser, but the police deceived him into getting out after driving a short distance. They then took off with his mother and returned her to custody.

Ms. Lu was soon sentenced and sent to prison and is now in a vegetative state.