Legal Action in the Netherlands Against Chinese Leaders for Crimes of Genocide and Torture

On December the 1st 2004, the Dutch Falun Gong Association filed a legal complaint based on crimes of Genocide and Torture committed by Jiang Zemin, Li Lanqing and Bo Xilai against Falun Gong practitioners.

On the following day, the Public Prosecutor received the complaint in person at the National Court in Rotterdam and said that she would investigate this case and inform the plaintiff’s lawyer about developments.

This is the first time in the legal history of the Netherlands that a complaint has been filed based on Genocide. The Dutch legal system allows for such a complaint because the victims are actually Dutch citizens.

Falun Gong practitioners who submitted the complaint in front of the national court in Rotterdam

The first victim is Mr. Egon Knapen. Knapen was arrested by police after peacefully appealing against the persecution of Falun Gong on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In his backpack a yellow banner reading “Falun Dafa is Good” was found, together with two Falun Gong books. After this discovery, 7 policemen arrested Knapen and subjected him to abuse.

Knapen was transferred to a police station where he was abused again. Knapen, together with several fellow practitioners, was taken to a hotel near Beijing Airport. He was interrogated in the presence of 5 policemen. After the interrogation he was put on a plane back to The Netherlands.

The second victim is Mr. Jan Hendriks, also a Dutch Falun Gong practitioner. Hendriks was on Tiananmen Square on February the 14th 2002. After he finished a meditation exercise on the square, he was forced to enter a police van. The policemen in the van hit and intimidated Hendriks. Next Hendriks was kept in detention and interrogated, during which he was continually subject to intimidation. After that, he was also put back on a plane to The Netherlands.

Press conference

On December the 3rd, a press conference was held in The Hague. The opening speech was made by the plaintiff’s lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld from Holland’s most famous human rights law firm. She said, “I believe that the Dutch Court will accept this case. There are three reasons. First, Dutch law has universal jurisdiction, that is, Dutch law can punish anybody in the world. Secondly, we have two Dutch nationals as victims, so this event is relevant to the Netherlands. This is an important foundation to file this law suit. Thirdly, neither Falun Gong nor Genocide is restricted by national boundaries.” She also stressed that this legal complaint is not only for the Dutch nationals who were victimized, but on behalf of all the victims.

Dutch human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld (left)

Next, Dutch citizen Egon Knapen told the conference of his traumatic experiences of being beaten and tortured by the Chinese police after peacefully appealing for Falun Gong on Beijing’s Tiananmen square in February 2002.

Irish resident Zhao Ming spoke to the conference about his suffering while he was jailed in a Chinese forced labour camp, including being brutally beaten and shocked with several electric batons simultaneously. Following over two years of illegal imprisonment, Ming was freed after widespread international support and calls for his release by human rights organisations, governments and kind-hearted supporters.

Zhao Ming describes being tortured in China

Dutch citizen Wang Xianghe talked about the persecution of five of her family members, including her 85-year-old mother and 13-year-old niece. They were kidnapped, detained and sentenced to labour camps or jails on several occasions. The torture methods used by Chinese authorities to force them to give up their beliefs include hanging them outside naked on a winter night and brutal beatings.

Dutch media participated in the press conference

The Dutch Falun Dafa Association released the following press statement

“For more than five years, a policy of systematic terror has been waged against Falun Gong practitioners. Money or other means are used to execute this policy and to achieve Jiang’s goal, the total elimination of Falun Gong. Jiang Zemin is the initiator and the brains behind the persecution. He changed the law to legalise his actions, but in doing so he violated the Chinese Constitution and universal human rights. He established the “6-10 Office”, a Gestapo-like organ, implemented at all levels of the government with the sole purpose of destroying Falun Gong: physically, mentally, financially, socially and in name.

Torture and brainwashing are, even today, applied on a large scale. Examples include force feeding, electric shocking, beating with weapons, long-term confinement in small spaces, rape and injection with nerve-damaging drugs. All these inhumane activities have the aim of breaking the faith of Falun Gong practitioners, and as such form a direct attack on Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, the guiding principles of Falun Gong.

Communist tactics have been used to turn the whole population against Falun Gong, trying to enforce this policy further. The state-run media is continuously used to brainwash the people and make them believe Falun Gong is bad. By rewards, fines and penalties, policemen and civilians are encouraged to convert Falun Gong practitioners. This complete systematic and well thought-out approach to eradicate a movement has a legal term: Genocide.”

The Hague is famous for being the home of the International Court and the International Criminal Court. The International Court was mainly set up for war offenders but the International Criminal Court can apply to those who seriously violated human rights or genocide criminals.

Does this lawsuit in the Netherlands have any special meaning? With this question, the journalist interviewed Dutch Falun Dafa Association spokesperson Silvio Verbeek. He answered, “Dutch people are famous in history for valuing people’s morality. That is why many international legal organizations are situated in the Netherlands, like the International Court and the International Criminal Court. This lawsuit in the Netherlands indicates that sentencing Jiang Zemin at the International Criminal Court will take place very soon.”

The Dutch Falun Gong association states that this complaint is part of a series of 44 lawsuits worldwide, whereby they hope to bring the persons responsible for the continuing brutalities against Falun Gong to justice.

Who are the Defendants?

The defendants in this legal case are now known throughout the world for their controlling role in the wide-scale human rights abuses against people who practise Falun Gong. Jiang Zemin is the former President of China who personally launched and enforced the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. It was on his direct orders that the deaths of Falun Gong practitioners through persecution were counted as suicides. In over five years of violent suppression against Falun Gong, it has become apparent that Jiang’s vow to “eliminate Falun Gong” will never be fulfilled. He is now the subject of at least 8 lawsuits for his crimes of genocide and torture in persecuting Falun Gong, five of them filed in European countries.

Li Lanqing is the head of the 6-10 Office responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong and former Chinese State Council Vice-Premier. He has already received legal action filed against him in France, Belgium, Germany and Taiwan for Genocide, Torture and Crimes Against humanity. China’s “6-10 Office,” officially called the “Office of the Leadership Team to Handle the Falun Gong Issue,” derives its name from its date of establishment: June 10th 1999. It is the highest institution within the Chinese government for formulating and executing the campaign to persecute Falun Gong. It is a terrorist organization specifically established for the purpose of suppressing and persecuting innocent Falun Gong practitioners who follow the principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.” The systematic and tightly conceived persecution, aimed at eradicating Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners through both violent and psychological means, originated from this office.

The “6-10 Office” directly plots, manipulates, and participates in the Jiang regime’s illegal campaign that persecutes, defames, and fabricates rumours against Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners. In particular, the policies of the “6-10 Office,” implemented throughout the persecution, of “defaming their reputation, bankrupting them financially, destroying them physically,” “considering it suicide if beaten to death,” and “cremating the body on the spot without checking the identity” amount to coordinating, assisting and directly carrying out the crime of genocide ordered by China’s leader, Jiang Zemin, in his oppression and persecution of Falun Gong. The destructive and devastating role carried out by the “610 Office” – an organization of terror – is no less than the crimes committed by the Gestapo, under Hitler’s direction, in their persecution of the Jewish people during the Holocaust in World War II.

As the former Governor of Liaoning province and present Minister of Commerce, Bo Xilai enthusiastically follows Jiang Zemin to persecute Falun Gong. During his term as Mayor of Dalian City from 1993 to 2001, Dalian City was one of the cities where the persecution of Falun Gong was most severe. At least fifteen Falun Gong practitioners have been verified as being persecuted to death. During his term as Governor of Liaoning Province from January 2001 to February 2004, Liaoning Province became one of the provinces where the persecution of Falun Gong was the most severe. Up to the 1st of December 2003, it was verified that at least 90 Falun Gong practitioners had been persecuted to death, ranking fourth in the country. The persecution means are extremely brutal in many labour camps of Liaoning province, such as in Masanjia Forced Labour Camp, Da Bei Jail, Dalian Re-education Centre and so on.

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