Australia: Falun Gong Practitioners Sue Chinese Secretary of Politics and Justice

On December 7th, 2009, the Australian Supreme Court held another round of hearings on case of three Australian Falun Gong practitioners vs. the Chinese Secretary of Politics and Justice, Zhou Yong Kang. The judge approved the motion from the plaintiff to change the case from criminal to civic charges. The plaintiffs are suing Zhou Yong Kong for torture and requested economical compensation for the tortures, both physical and mental, while they were jailed in China for practising Falun Gong.

Three plaintiffs, Chen Jingxiao, Li Jielin, and Yue Changzhi submitted the motion to change the lawsuit from criminal to civic charges. The court scheduled the next hearing for May 2010.

Plaintiffs Chen Jing Xiao (right) and Yue Chang Zhi (left)

One of the plaintiffs, Ms. Chen Jing Xiao, was brutally tortured in China for practising Falun Gong. She was sentenced to jail for two years, during which she was repeatedly coerced, physically punished, beaten, and shocked with electric batons. Her personal property, including computer equipment valued at over 10,000 yuan (about US$1470) was illegally confiscated. The authorities refused to divulge her whereabouts to her family for a long time. Her younger sister was also illegally charged and sentenced to three years of forced labour without going through any legal process, because she practised Falun Gong.

Chen said Zhou Yong Kang was the major person responsible for persecuting Falun Gong in China. She expects the court to display high morals and courage in pursuing the case.

Plaintiff Yue Chang Zhi, is a former electronics equipment engineer from the National Ministry of Aeronautics and Space. In July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party started the persecution of Falun Gong. She appealed for Falun Gong twice, which resulted in her being detained. She later moved to other cities. The authorities started a nationwide campaign to arrest her. The National Security Department arrested her younger daughter as a hostage to force her to turn herself in. In the end, the authorities arrested her in her daughter's home and sentenced her to four years in Beijing Women's Prison.

In Beijing Women's Prison, she was badly tortured both physically and mentally. She was deprived of sleep, forced to stand for a long time, and not allowed to use bathroom for 24 hours. She was often beaten and kicked. On March 18th, 2004, she was physically tortured for six hours and almost died. Her spine was broken and she did not get treatment, so her back is now permanently bent. She said her story is just the tip of the iceberg. The persecution is going on everywhere in China.

Yue said when she was sentenced to four years in prison in China, that the authorities didn't allow any lawyers to defend her and didn't notify her family. She felt happy today to have the chance to sue Zhou Yong Kang, a primary perpetrator in the persecution of Falun Gong. She believes that justice will be served in this democratic country.

Another plaintiff, Li Jielin, said that when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its full-scale persecution of Falun Gong on July 20th, 1999, former Party Secretary in Sichuan Province, Zhou Yong Kang, closely followed Jiang Zemin, and implemented his brutal policies against Falun Gong practitioners in Sichuan. Li Jielin said, "On July 13th, 2000, at approximately 7:00 p.m., I was arrested and taken to a detention centre. That night, I was forced to participate in forced labour. On that day, I began to live my life in conditions unfit for human beings. On April 13th, 2001, they transferred me to a women's prison. In the "Eighth Group Under Surveillance," I was constantly monitored by criminals, on orders from police officers. They followed me around the clock, during meals, when I used the bathroom, and even when I was in forced labour. They adopted the 'exhaustion tactic,' attempting to brainwash me. Each day I was forced to repeat labour chores, and often forced to stand for long periods of time. I was severely stressed, in both mind and body. Only because I believed in Falun Gong, I was forced to spend three long years imprisoned. My daughter Wang Wei, and son-in-law Wu Hongbo, were also illegally imprisoned for practising Falun Gong. Shortly after Wang Wei suffered two years in a forced labour camp, she was again detained for three months, enduring brutal brainwashing."

Case History Playback

In November 2008, plaintiffs Chen Jingxiao, Li Jielin, and Liu Jinghang delivered documents in a lawsuit against former Minister of State Security, former member of the State Council, and former secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Sichuan Province, Zhou Yongkang, for the persecution they suffered in China, including torture, for their belief in Falun Gong. The New South Wales Supreme Court accepted the documents.

According to WOIPFG, Zhou Yongkang, originally from Wuxi in Jiangsu Province, has been director of the Liaohe Oil Exploration Bureau, deputy secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Committee of Panjin City, Liaoning Province, secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Sichuan Province, minister for State Security, deputy director of the Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security of the CCP Central Committee, and deputy secretary of the Political and Judiciary Committee of the CCP Central Committee, etc.

According to an investigative report from WOIPFG,

In December 2002, as soon as Zhou became the Minister of Public Security, he spoke at a meeting with bureau-level, and upper-level cadres in the Public Security Bureau, and at a nation-wide video-telephone conference attended by all public security departments, and called for an escalation of the persecution of Falun Gong.

Between 1999 and December 2002, when Zhou Yongkang was secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Sichuan Province, he pushed the whole province to intensify the "transformation" of Falun Gong practitioners.

Zhou is a suspect in fabricating false news that defamed Falun Gong, and blocking the distribution of Falun Gong truth-clarifying information. As Minister of Public Security, Zhou also rewarded the people and departments who actively participated in the persecution of Falun Gong.

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