AFP: Icelandic Lawsuit accuses Top Chinese Leader of Torture and Genocide

BEIJING, Sept 9 (AFP) - An Icelandic lawyer has filed a lawsuit against visiting Chinese official Luo Gan, accusing the top Communist Party leader of torture and genocide in the crackdown on Falun Gong, the group said Tuesday.

Ragnar Adalsteinsson, a renowned Icelandic human rights lawyer, filed the action Thursday with the State Criminal Prosecutor in Iceland, Bogi Nilsson.

Luo has orchestrated the four-year campaign against the spiritual group as head of the party's Politics and Law Commission, China's top police and judicial organ, and is in Iceland on a two-day visit as part of an ongoing four-nation tour of Europe.

The legal complaint is based on the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which Iceland signed in November 1996, the London-based office of Falun Gong said in a statement.

As a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, Icelandic courts are authorized to hear cases which allege violation of its terms, it said.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Falun Gong practitioners from Australia, Canada, the United States, Britain, Italy, Holland, Denmark and Ireland.

"Iceland has a legal and moral duty to prosecute forcefully and bring to justice persons that are guilty of systematic violations of international human rights," Adalsteinsson was quoted as saying.

It is the twelfth international lawsuit in nine countries to emerge in the past two years against high-ranking Chinese officials or government bodies for their roles in pursuing Falun Gong.

The group, whose followers practice meditation to improve their physical and mental well-being, say more than 1,600 members have been tortured or beaten to death in China during the crackdown.

More than 500 have been given prison sentences of over 20 years, over 1,000 interned in mental hospitals and more than 25,000 held in work camps.

Some 100,000 others are being held without trial, it said.[...]

Last month, a lawyer who prosecuted Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet filed a criminal lawsuit in Belgium against Luo, former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and one other senior official on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners.

That lawsuit also charges the three men with genocide, torture and crimes against humanity.

You are welcome to print and circulate all articles published on Clearharmony and their content, but please quote the source.