Name: Xiang HuaixiangChinese Name: 向怀香Gender: FemaleAge: 73City: ChenzhouProvince: HunanOccupation: Retiree of China Construction BankDate of Death: April 2, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 19, 2010Most Recent Place of Detention: Hunan Province Women’s Prison

After the tragic deaths of her daughter and husband years ago, Ms. Xiang Huaixiang, of Chenzhou City, Hunan Province, also died on April 2, 2023, due to the persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was 73.

Ms. Xiang Huaixiang

Ms. Xiang’s only daughter, Ms. Chen Lijuan, was arrested in 2000 while doing the Falun Gong exercises at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. She was around 20 years old at the time and still a college student. The police went to Beijing and took her back to Chenzhou. She became mentally disordered due to the torture in custody. She was released on bail and sent to a mental hospital in July 2000. However, her condition worsened and she died in November 2004.

Following Ms. Xiang’s last arrest on July 19, 2010, her husband, Mr. Chen Zhiqiang, frequented the Suxian District Court to demand her release, only to be intimidated by the court staff members. Due to the mental distress, he developed liver cancer. He applied several times to have Ms. Xiang released to care for him but was always denied. Mr. Chen later died at home by himself. His body was only discovered after it began to fester and the decomposition was smelled by his neighbors.

Ms. Xiang’s Ordeal

Ms. Xiang was a retiree of China Construction Bank Chenzhou Branch and was elected as an outstanding employee many times at both the city and provincial levels. She began practicing Falun Gong in April 1996. The miraculous effects of Falun Gong made it possible for her to bid farewell to all of her illnesses. She had since never been ill and had not needed any medications.

Because of distributing informational materials about Falun Gong, Ms. Xiang was arrested on October 15, 2004, and later again on February 7, 2007. She was detained for 15 days each time.

Ms. Xiang’s third arrest took place on July 19, 2010, while she was studying Falun Gong’s teachings at home with eleven other practitioners. The police confiscated their Falun Gong books and over 1,000 yuan cash they had. Ms. Xiang’s computer, printer, and over 15,000 yuan in cash were confiscated.

All twelve practitioners were brought to Nanta Police Station. Officer Liao Binggang brought over a form stating that all the Falun Gong practitioners were exercising together and having a group study. They were told to sign their names so that they would be released. However, after they all signed, only four practitioners, who were in their 80s, were released, while the rest of the practitioners were taken to the local detention center. Prosecutor Yu Yongzhong of Suxian District Procuratorate approved their arrests on August 13, 2010.

A few days before the 2011 Chinese New Year on February 3, Mr. Chen demanded to have Ms. Xiang released to spend the holiday with the family. Although the police and the 610 Office approved his request, Huang Jiangao, the new president of Suxian District Court, claimed that he needed to spend more time reviewing the case before releasing Ms. Xiang.

On the eve of the Chinese New Year, Mr. Chen went to the detention center to pick up Ms. Xiang but was told that his wife would not be released. He bought some fruit and asked the guards to give it to her. He stood in the biting cold wind and looked in the direction of where his wife was detained. He stood there for a long time before returning home.

Between November 5, 2010, and April 7, 2011, Ms. Xiang appeared in Suxian District Court four times and was sentenced to seven years in prison. She was charged with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners. She appealed with the Chenzhou City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold her original verdict. She was transferred to the Hunan Province Women’s Prison shortly after.

Ms. Xiang was released on July 18, 2017, and found out that her pension had been suspended since September 2014. She repeatedly appealed to her former employer and the provincial social security bureau but to no avail.

Her employer further demanded that she return the more than 90,000 yuan of pension benefits she received between September 2010 and September 2014. As she did not have money to meet the demand, her employer deducted money from her pension account since August 2017 (one month after she was released). They said they’d issue her a subsidy to cover the minimum living expenses after recouping the entire amount of 90,000 yuan in nine years, but they would not restore her retirement benefits. The mental and financial distress eventually claimed her life, and she passed away at 5 a.m. on April 2, 2023.

Related articles:

After Serving 7 Years for Her Faith, 72-Year-Old Woman Deprived of Pension

Ms. Xiang Huaixiang from Hunan Province Secretly Put On Trial

Falun Dafa Practitioner Ms. Chen Lijuan from Chenzhou City Died Under Persecution in 2004

Her Only Daughter Dead as a Result of Torture, Ms. Xiang Huaixiang is Sentenced to Seven Years of Imprisonment

President of Chenzhou City Court in Hunan Province Persecutes Female Falun Gong Practitioner in Her 60s

The Persecution of a Woman in Her 60's and the Hardship it Causes Her Elderly Mother