Xiao Songxiang, female, was born on May 20, 1963 and was from Xingyang City in Henan Province. She began to believe in the Lord Jesus in 1989 and joined The Church of Almighty God in 1991. In December 2018, Xiao Songxiang was arrested by the police of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because of her faith in Almighty God, and after one day of being tortured for confession, she died.
At about 10 a.m. on the morning of December 19, 2018, four police officers burst into Xiao Songxiang’s rented home in Xingyang and arrested her, then took her directly to the Guangwu Detention Center in Xingyang.
At 11 a.m. on December 20, Xiao Songxiang’s husband Li Qiang was summoned by the police to go to the Gaocun Town Police Station. The deputy chief of the Xingyang Public Security Bureau played a surveillance video for him and said, “A task force has been set up by the central government to specifically arrest believers in Almighty God. Mass arrests will be happening soon. We’ve already been surveilling your wife for four days. We know that your wife believes in Almighty God; this is a political crime.” The deputy chief also said that Xiao Songxiang had fainted and was receiving emergency treatment at Xingyang’s Ruilong Hospital. By about 1 p.m. on that same day, her husband was told that she had died. Her family then rushed to the funeral parlor, and after viewing her remains, they developed doubts about the circumstances surrounding her death. How could someone who had always been in such robust health die so suddenly? In an attempt to ferret out the truth behind Xiao Songxiang’s death, her family strongly demanded to view the surveillance footage of her interrogation.
The afternoon of December 21, Xiao’s family members were called by the police into the Xingyang Public Security Bureau’s Criminal Police Brigade to view the interrogation footage. Before watching it, every leader with that Public Security Bureau arrived on the scene. The Political Commissar Zhang Yifan, who was the head, warned Xiao’s family, “According to documents issued by the State Council, the CCP is to completely eradicate The Church of Almighty God. Any believers in Almighty God are considered important national criminals. This is a political case!” Zhang Yifan also shirked his own responsibility, saying that Xiao Songxiang had died suddenly and unexpectedly during interrogation.
Her family saw on the recordings that in an interrogation room, she was handcuffed to a tiger bench the entire time with her head lolling and a large, bright light about four meters away shining straight onto her face. She went to the bathroom a total of seven times, and over the last three times her physical condition became noticeably worse with each trip to the toilet. She was supporting herself against the wall as she made her way to the bathroom. The surveillance footage showed that at 8:59 a.m. on December 20, she passed out on the floor after she entered the bathroom for the last time. About 19 minutes later the police finally picked her up and hoisted her out of the bathroom, her hands lolling as they dragged her out. More than ten minutes later rescue personnel arrived at the scene. When her family asked to listen to the surveillance audio recordings, the police refused on the grounds that it impinged upon state secrets and the family was only permitted to see the video.
Her family was incensed after watching the surveillance footage, and asked the police, “Who could tolerate having such a bright light shining straight into their face for so long?” The police responded, “Without applying a little pressure she would never give up information on the church.” They attempted to hold the police accountable for their actions, but they insisted that Xiao Songxiang had died from a sudden health issue, and said menacingly, “If you try to cause any problems we’ll take you in too!”
Xiao’s family said that she had always been in good health and rarely fell ill, but died after the strain of a single day of police torture. She was clearly tortured to death. However, due to the CCP’s threats, they had to bottle up their fury—they didn’t dare speak out. The police ended up compensating the family with 399,000 RMB (about 59,404 USD) to hastily settle this case of murder.