Les Presses Chinoises' Falun Gong Slander/Hate Propaganda Case Near Conclusion

After more than two years of legal proceedings, the Quebec Superior Court will reach a verdict after the court will hear legal arguments from lawyers of both sides between February 23 to February 25, 2004.

Les Presses Chinoises does the same things as Jiang's group to slander Falun Gong and incite hatred

The format and actual methods Les Presses Chinoises used to slander Falun Gong and to encourage ignorant, deluded people to resent Falun Gong are exactly the same as those used by the mouthpiece media in Mainland China. Les Presses Chinoises even copied some of the obvious mistakes including wrong punctuations in newspaper articles from China. By exposing the fact that the persecution of Falun Gong is based on lies, by exposing the brutal torture cases covered by lies and upholding justice in court is in fact revealing to the world of Jiang group's crimes of persecuting Falun Gong.

Lawyer says witness accounts crucial

Mr. Michael Bergman, the attorney for Falun Gong practitioners, told the Clearwisdom reporter that among the lawsuits filed by Falun Gong practitioners, this one has special significance. The judge listened to over a dozen witnesses and learned the wondrousness of Falun Gong; he learned of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China and the harm that was brought upon the plaintiffs, and he also listened to the defendant's lengthy explanation.

Mr. Bergman continued saying that some people can't believe the extent of cruelty of this persecution; some people don't even believe the persecution is happening. The judge's verdict, therefore, which will probably be in favour of Falun Gong, will have tremendous importance and it may even force the Chinese government to re-consider the feasibility to attack Falun Gong using any overseas media under their control.

Les Presses Chinoises caused terrible harm by instigating hatred

Mr. Bergman said that this case is different from the previous lawsuit against the Deputy Consul General in that we are suing a Canadian media this time. The readership of Les Presses Chinoises is not limited to the local Chinese people; the paper has its own website and the articles it copied from the Mainland China media will be reprinted and sent back to China. The result would be that hundreds of thousands or even hundreds of millions of Chinese people will say, "Look, this report comes from Canada, a country with a healthy legal system and that respects freedom of speech. What they say is exactly the same as what the Chinese government says." On the other hand, Canadian people not in the know would give credence to the slanderous words in Les Presses Chinoises for their trusting the media. That is why this hate-inciting propaganda causes tremendous harm to Falun Gong practitioners.

According to Falun Gong practitioners in Canada, when their friends and family in China read reports about Les Presses Chinoises' attack on Falun Gong, they thought Canada opposed Falun Gong like the Chinese government, and therefore are concerned about the practitioners' safety in Canada.

The Canadian Community supports Falun Gong practitioners' lawsuit against Les Presses Chinoises

The Quebec Superior Court issued a safeguard order on December 10, 2001 to prohibit Les Presses Chinoises from publishing defamatory and hateful articles, which had a great impact on the Canadian society. Robert Anderson, a Canadian Parliament member, published an announcement condemning Les Presses Chinoises for distributing hate articles and harming Falun Gong. He also said he supports the decision made by the Quebec Superior Court. Some people in the Chinese community said, "We hope Falun Gong will win this case, because this kind of slander and hate propaganda might happen to someone else next time."

During court proceedings in November 2003, some Chinese people phoned the court and said they were willing to take the witness stand to support Falun Gong. Some Chinese said to Falun Gong practitioners, "This lawsuit against Les Presses Chinoises seems to hit the paper, but it hurts Jiang." Many Chinese people clearly see that the Falun Gong practitioners' lawsuit against Les Presses Chinoises is not only an expression of resistance against the persecution of Falun Gong, but and also a warning for the sake of the future of society.

Background information

On November 3, 2001, slanderous articles with words like "man-beast intercourse" and "blood-sucking" were published in Les Presses Chinoises and were used to attack Falun Gong. The newspaper agency refused to talk to Falun Gong practitioners who had gone to protest. The paper continued to publish dozens of articles slandering and defaming Falun Gong, to incite hatred against Falun Gong. Most of the misinformation used by the newspaper is identical to that flaunted in Mainland China.

Because of such defamatory reports, more than 200 Falun Gong practitioners in Canada filed a class-action lawsuit against Les Presses Chinoises with the Quebec Superior Court.

The first court session began on December 10 2001 and the judge issued an order prohibiting the paper from publishing similar contents in the future.

On February 2 2002, during the period the safeguard order was still in effect, Les Presses Chinoises published a 12-page special edition, in which the head of the newspaper wrote an article calling for the society to "denounce" Falun Gong. That person was subsequently charged with contempt of court.

The final session of the Les Presses Chinoises hate-incitement trial began on November 10, 2003. All court testimony was finished by November 27, 2003.

The time for verdict of the case of contempt of court is to be decided.

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