In Trinity College Dublin on Monday the 24th of February, a seminar was successfully held to discuss the wave of international lawsuits targeting Chinese officials who have participated in the campaign of genocide against Falun Gong practitioners. Prompted by the current Irish presidency of the EU and the upcoming EU-China human rights dialogue on 26th and 27th of February, the seminar was held in order to move forward the global campaign to bring the Chinese criminals to justice. The aim of the seminar was to share legal expertise and experience in this regard, as well as to raise awareness about persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Academics and students of Trinity College, as well as members of the public attended the seminar.
The seminar was co-organised by the Trinity College Law Society and the Falun Dafa Society. Speakers included:
Dr. Gernot Biehler: A lecturer in the Law School of the College, former diplomat and expert in international law.
Ms. Karin Zidemal: A Belgian lawyer. She is the assistant of famous Belgian human rights lawyer Mr George-Henri Beauthier who was involved in the Pinochet case and is also working on a case to sue Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan and Li Lanqing in Belgium for Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide.
Mr. Zhao Ming: a Computer Science Postgraduate student in Trinity College and former prisoner of conscience who was detained in a Chinese labour camp for 22 months without trial.
The first speaker of the seminar was Mr Zhao Ming who described his personal experience in Chinese labour camps and gave a very moving account of four friends of his who had been killed in the persecution against Falun Gong in China. He went on to describe the systematic campaign of Genocide that is being carried out under the instigation of Jiang Zemin, and the economic effects it has had through slave labour and the draining of China’s resources.
Dr. Biehler gave a succinct introduction to international law since the Geneva Convention of 1949. He spoke of the initial need to respect the sovereignty of a country and its right to conduct its own internal affairs as weighted against the need to protect internationally-accepted human rights norms of men and women everywhere. Dr. Biehler spoke of the progress made in recent years in this regard and cited many examples where human rights offenders can no longer hide behind state sovereignty or head of state immunity when guilty of large-scale human rights abuses.
Ms. Zidemal, who flew in from Belgium to attend the conference, described in detail the progress of the cases filed against Jiang Zemin and other officials of the “610 Office”. Her account of the Belgian legal system was informative and concise. Moreover, the commitment of their legal team to upholding the principles of justice was evident from her speech and was inspiring to academics and the public alike.
The seminar lasted just under two hours and was informative and encouraging both for the legal professionals and the concerned members of the public.
Zhao Ming said, “According to our investigation, Ireland has ratified and implemented the International Convention against Torture. There are two sections in the Criminal Justice Act 2000 that we can use to sue the Chinese perpetrators in Ireland. So if any Chinese perpetrator, who has either committed torture personally or has conspired to torture Falun Gong practitioners, comes into this state, we may file a complaint against him/her.” Mr. Zhao also said, “Falun Gong practitioners in Ireland are widely contacting solicitor firms in Ireland to find a solicitor to do the case for them.”
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