On November 12th, 2004, Vancouver Falun Dafa practitioners held a press conference and formally filed a request with the Canadian Chief Prosecutor to sue five Chinese Communist Officials, including Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Liu Jing, Zhou Yongkang and Li Lanqing based on Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. The plaintiff's attorney, several dozen witnesses, including Mr Zhang Kunlun and Ms Wang Yuzhi, major local Canadian and Chinese-language media outlets, as well as well-known public figures and attorneys attended the conference.
The president of the "Canadian Union of Hospital Employees," and the president of "Friends of Falun Gong" attended the press conference and delivered speeches to express their support. Members of the Canadian Parliament, the President of the British Columbia Provincial General Labour Union, as well as Vancouver City Council Members sent supportive letters.
|Renowned Canadian human rights attorney Mr David Matas||Mr Clive Ansley, who has worked in China's Judicial Department for 14 years||Professor Zhang Kunlun (right)|
Attorneys believe that the lawsuit is based on solid legal grounds
One of the plaintiff's attorneys, renowned Canadian human rights attorney Mr David Matas, stated at the press conference that he represents 120 Falun Gong practitioners - current Canadian residents who have been subjected to persecution by the Jiang faction - to file a lawsuit with the Canadian Chief Prosecutor on the charge of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Mr Matas said that one of the 120 Falun Gong practitioners, Professor Zhang Kunlun, had been abducted and illegally imprisoned four times in China simply because he practised Falun Gong. During his imprisonment, he had suffered beatings, electric shocks and other physical punishments. Mr Matas emphasised that when Professor Zhang Kunlun was subjected to persecution in China, he was already a Canadian citizen. According to Canadian laws, this fact alone is sufficient to give the Canadian government and Court the right to investigate and try this case.
Mr Matas pointed out that the purpose of this lawsuit is not only to seek justice for these 120 victims and request an end to the persecution against them, but more importantly, it is to seek an end to the oppression of all Falun Gong practitioners in China and have those leaders and their followers who are still persecuting Falun Gong practitioners punished by international courts.
Although the defendants are not in Canada, if the Chief Prosecutor agrees to process this lawsuit, the Canadian government will formally file a complaint with the Supreme Court. The court will then establish the case and issue an arrest warrant. The Canadian government will issue the international arrest warrant through the Interpol and demand that these criminals be delivered to Canada and tried.
The Canadian government has the responsibility to uphold justice
Mr Clive Ansley, who has been working in China's Judicial Department for 14 years, is another attorney for the plaintiffs in this lawsuit. He said that because China's legal system is not perfect and the legal operations are directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, the Party can replace judges as necessary. Especially in certain sensitive cases, the Party directly controls the trial from behind the scenes. He pointed out that from his research on the persecution of Falun Gong, the persecuted Falun Gong practitioners are directly sent to labour camps without any legal procedures. Professor Zhang Kunlun was arrested by police officers who did not show any legal document.
Mr Ansley pointed out that Chinese leaders actually place themselves above the law. Under this circumstance, it is even more incumbent upon the Canadian government to assume the responsibility to uphold justice.
"Seek justice through legal measures"
At the press conference, Andrea Hayley, representing the Canadian Falun Dafa Association, read a statement which expressed: According to Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 120 Canadian Falun Gong practitioners are filing a request with the Chief Prosecutor to sue Jiang Zemin (Former President of China), Luo Gan (currently Secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Central Committee), Zhou Yongkang (currently Minister of Public Security), Liu Jing (Currently Deputy Minister of Public Security) and Li Lanqing for committing genocide and crimes against humanity.
The statement said the persecution by means of killing, genocide, slave labour, imprisonment, sexual abuse, mental torture and brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners violated the provisions regarding crimes against humanity of the sixth and seventh parts of Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
The statement by the Canadian Falun Dafa Association stressed that seeking justice through legal measures has become a global movement. At present, a number of Falun Gong lawsuits have been filed in 22 countries. The statement pointed out that "It is heaven's law that good deeds will be rewarded with good and bad deeds will receive due retribution". Canada should uphold justice according to its own traditions and bring those who are directly responsible for the persecution to justice.
The statement also called upon Canadian society to pay attention to and support Falun Gong practitioners' request for justice.
The persecuted are all Falun Gong practitioners
Canadian citizen, Falun Gong practitioner Professor Zhang Kunlun and Vancouver Falun Gong practitioner Ms Wang Yuzhi spoke at the press conference.
Professor Zhang Kunlun said, "During the persecution, I clearly realised that who they were persecuting was not just me, as a single individual. What they have committed is genocide. This suppression is systematic and all of China has been involved in this large-scale persecution. Families, neighbourhoods, work units, local police have all been put into action to monitor, abduct, brainwash, separate and torture Falun Gong practitioners. Secondly, this persecution is widespread; it has influenced the whole world. Thirdly, this persecution is inhuman and brutal. More than 1100 Falun Gong practitioners are verified to have died from the persecution. The actual death toll could be much more than that. People who were tortured to death include children, infants, pregnant women and senior citizens. The brutality is too horrible to look at. Today, I call upon all Canadians who have a sense of justice to work together to request the Canadian Chief Prosecutor to bring these evildoers to justice!"
Ms Wang Yuzhi said, "Because of the Jiang Zemin faction's persecution of Falun Gong, I, a businesswoman, a virtuous wife and loving mother, became a 'wanted person'. When I was arrested for the third time, I was incarcerated in the Wanjia Labour Camp in Harbin City for nine months. During that period of time, I was severely beaten up. My clothes were taken away and I was forced to sit on an iron chair. I was not allowed to sleep and I suffered the cruel force-feeding and other tortures. As a consequence, I was injured both mentally and physically. My eyes bled and oozed pus and I almost lost my eyesight. Today, as a Vancouver resident, I request to sue these Chinese officials, including Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Liu Jing, Zhou Yongkang and Li Lanqing for abusing their governmental power and committing genocide, torture and crimes against humanity."
Vancouver press conference is the first step of the Canadian lawsuit against Jiang
Canadian Falun Gong practitioner, Mr Zhang Xiaoheng said that Canada is a member of the International Criminal Court. The lawsuit against Jiang filed in Vancouver is based on Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. This Act was written in 2000 to implement the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. This is the first time that Falun Gong practitioners have used this Act to request to sue the five Chinese officials who have lead the persecution of Falun Gong. Therefore, Falun Gong practitioners hope that the Canadian Justice Minister and Chief Prosecutor will approve the lawsuit. Because crimes violating this act are especially severe, as they involve crimes against humanity and war crimes in a systematic and broad persecution of a group of people, to use this Act to file a lawsuit requires approval from the Canadian Justice Minister. Now, we are filing this request with the Canadian Justice Minister and Chief Prosecutor, and ask the Canadian government to approve this lawsuit against these five prime perpetrators of the persecution of Falun Gong.
The Vancouver press conference is the first step in suing Jiang in Canada. Soon, large-scale activities will be held in Toronto and Ottawa to bring Jiang to justice.
|Live torture re-enactment||People watching the torture re-enactment||People signing petition in support of Falun Gong|
Live torture reenactment and petition drive held to call upon the Canadian people to support bringing Jiang to justice
After the press conference, Vancouver Falun Gong practitioners held a live torture reenactment and signature collection near the conference venue so as to allow more Canadian people to learn about the persecution suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in China and understand the reasons for suing Jiang Zemin. A constant stream of people came to sign their names in support.
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