On December 10, 2012, Xu Xinyao (alias: Li Hong), a Christian from The Church of Almighty God, was arrested by the authorities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for believing in Almighty God. On January 7, 2013, he was killed during incarceration at the age of 49. Born on July 16, 1964, Xu was a resident of Dongshe Village Group 3, Longchi Township, Pucheng County, Weinan City, Shaanxi Province. He joined The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in September 2002. He was a preacher of The Church of Almighty God before his death.
Xu Xinyao Was Arrested and Killed Soon After
At around 2 p.m. on December 10, 2012, when Xu Xinyao and two other Christians were preaching the gospel of Almighty God to the villagers of Yuanlei Village, Fengcun Township, Dali County, Weinan City, five policemen from the Fengcun Police Station rushed to the scene. Without producing any official credentials, they forcibly arrested several people and escorted them to the town police station.
At the police station, the police put handcuffs on the three Christians by force and interrogated them about their belief in God. Whoever’s turn it was for being questioned, they were fiercely slapped and kicked several times by the police.
Around 7 p.m., Xu and two other people were escorted to the State Security Brigade of the Dali County Public Security Bureau.
According to a Christian who was arrested with Xu, the three of them were interrogated separately. During the interrogation, she heard kicking sound from the interrogation room next door from time to time.
Around 11 p.m. that evening, the police shut the three Christians in the Dali County Detention Center on the charge of “believing in a cult.” They were held administrative detention for 15 days. Since Xu never disclosed his real name and family address, upon completion of his administrative detention, he was transferred to criminal detention with the detention period extended to January 22, 2013.
On the morning of January 7, 2013, Xu Xinyao, who was held in No. 16 men’s cell, spewed foam and died.
According to a male prisoner in cell No. 16, Xu was frequently beaten viciously by the prisoners in the cell on behest of the prison guards. Whenever he sang religious songs, the prisoners in the same cell beat him frantically. On the morning of January 7, Xu collapsed when he was gang beaten by the prisoners again.
News Blackout and Obliteration of Evidence by the CCP
In order to prevent the story from leaking out, the police shuffled the inmates in cell No. 16 at around 7 p.m. on January 7. The female prisoners were abuzz, “The guards do this because they are afraid that the Prosecutor’s Office may summon the detainees for questioning about Xu’s cause of death.” At about 4:30 p.m. on January 10, 2013, the detention center released all the Christians whose detention periods had been extended like Xu.
According to Xu’s family members, a cellmate of Xu who was released at the end of December 2012 called the brother-in-law of Xu and said, “Xu has nothing to eat or drink in the cell and is beaten every day. He is suffering in there. You need to figure out a way to bail him out immediately.” It was only at this point that Xu’s family knew that he had been arrested and detained. They rushed to raise money and sort things out. Before they could get to see him, they received a call from the Dali County Public Security Bureau informing them to collect Xu. When they rushed to the detention center, the director of the center said that Xu had suddenly passed out in the morning and died after a failed rescue attempt. The body was stationed in the Dali County Hospital mortuary.
When Xu’s family members rushed to the Dali County Hospital, two people from the City Procuratorate (a 50-year-old man about 1.65-meter tall and the other man was the chief about 40-plus years old and 1.8-meter tall) and 8 or 9 policemen from the detention center were guarding there. The police only allowed two family members to enter the mortuary to view the body. When Xu’s older brother-in-law and younger brother-in-law arrived at the mortuary, they saw Xu’s remains laid flat in front of the mortuary. His body was covered with clothes and completely naked underneath, his eyes tightly shut and covered with bruises. The expression on his face was contorted by pain. His right ear appeared greenish and there was a fist-sized bruise on his left chest. There were gangrened ulcerations on both ears. His right hand was held over the head and his left hand was placed on the navel. Seeing this tragic scene, the family members were certain that Xu was beaten to death. They proposed to take photos of the remains but the officials of the procuratorate rejected them on the ground that “The state has documents, not allowing to take photos.”
At about 9 a.m. on January 8, over 30 people went to the Dali County Detention Center in Weinan City, Shaanxi Province, to ask for the two young children of Xu to be permitted to view their father’s remains, but the Dali County Detention Center refused.
At around 12 noon on January 9, the police negotiated with the Xu family. The police said, “If this matter is settled in court, the detention center will not take responsibility of anything. If it is privately settled, it will pay you a compensation of 330,000 RMB. However, there is a condition. The family of the deceased must sign a compensation agreement acknowledging that the deceased died of illness. If the family of the deceased wants to claim the body, no compensation will be made.” The family members had no choice but to accept private compensation. The two parties reached an agreement and the police compensated the family for 330,000 RMB.
On January 10, 2013, Xu’s remains were cremated by coercion.