The Officials Who Persecute Falun Gong Practitioners Cannot Escape the Punishment of International Law

The former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin and his regime has abused their power to illegally persecute Falun Gong practitioners. Justice and law will surely punish them for their crimes. Since the persecution against Falun Gong and those who practise Falun Gong started, a significant number of lawsuits have been filed against members of Jiang's regime who participated in the persecution, and many of the perpetrators have been found guilty. These criminals cannot escape the punishment of international law. We believe that in the near future, the laws of China will also punish them.

over the past half century, people in power in China have considered themselves above the law and have abused the law at will in their persecution of dissidents. In the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, the reckless abuse has reached its extreme.

Since the 20th of July in 1999, Jiang's regime has slandered and smeared Falun Gong using all the media under its control, both in China and overseas. On one hand, they use the propaganda to fabricate stories, which they then use as a "basis" for the persecution. On the other hand, they use the propaganda to instigate hatred toward practitioners among the general public.

At the same time, brainwashing centres of the "gestapo" like 6-10 Office assigned solely to persecute Falun Gong practitioners and police stations rampantly arrest practitioners and try to forcibly brainwash and brutally torture them in order to force them to give up their belief. In the past five years, at least 1,238 Falun Dafa practitioners have been killed. Thousands of practitioners have been tortured to the point of being physically handicapped or mentally disordered. Countless practitioners have been fired from their jobs, expelled from their schools, or forced to leave their homes.

The judiciary and law enforcement system in China, instead of protecting the Constitution and promoting justice, has directly participated in the persecution. Numerous illegal trials and sentences of Falun Gong practitioners can be found in all areas of the country; and attorneys are prohibited from representing or defending practitioners. In an article published on Minghui.net, the Chinese version of the Falun Gong website Clearwisdom.net, on the 23rd of December in 2004, there was a dialogue between a Falun Gong practitioner and several attorneys in a famous law office:

"When I asked which chapter of the law had been violated if a Falun Gong practitioner distributed materials containing the true facts about Falun Gong, one attorney claimed that it was article 300 of the criminal code, but he couldn't elaborate on what that was. I also asked, 'Which legal document of our country defines Falun Gong as a cult? Could you please show it to me?' The attorney replied, 'There is no such legal document.' I then said, 'Falun Gong is good. Falun Gong advocates Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. How can it be considered a cult?' Another attorney who had a doctoral degree answered, 'According to the law, what you say is right. However, the authorities' power is above the law in China. Therefore, it is hard to say.' I asked again, 'In your words, are you not able to legally defend Falun Gong practitioners?' They responded, 'No one, neither the attorney's office nor any attorney would dare to defend a Falun Gong practitioner because attorneys have to earn money to support their families.'"

In order to stop the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have been using legal measures overseas, where the judicial procedures are independent and fair, to bring lawsuits against the perpetrators who have directly participated in the persecution.

In December of 2001, Zhao Zhifei, vice director of Public Security Bureau, Hubei Province, was found liable for the persecution of Falun Gong in a US Federal Court. Since then, in 28 countries, there have been 13 lawsuits against Jiang Zemin and 34 lawsuits against 22 members of Jiang's regime who have participated in the persecution. Some of the lawsuits have produced positive effects; among them, some perpetrators have been found guilty. Once they enter the country where there are lawsuits against them, they will face the legal procedure because of their crimes of torture and crimes against humanity.

In a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin filed by Australian practitioners, the defendant was ordered to appear in court in response to the lawsuit

On the 15th of September in 2004, Australian citizen Ms. Zhang Cuiying filed a lawsuit against the former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and the 6-10 Office for genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity. The case was accepted by the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia, and the two defendants were ordered to appear in court on the 10th of December in 2004. A newspaper in Australia, the Canterbury Express, reported the news in an article titled "A fight for faith" on the front page. In the report, it said,

"Zhang Cuiying, who said she migrated to Australia in 1991, will allege that upon her 1999 return to China she was arrested, imprisoned and subjected to mental and physical torture for practising Falun Gong."

"Ms Zhang said she returned to China in 1999 to promote the practise of Falun Gong and said she was detained by authorities four times for her beliefs... 'I felt that I must speak a word of justice for Falun Gong even though I was aware that it was extremely dangerous to do so,' Ms Zhang said last week in a written statement to the Canterbury-Bankstown Express."

Zhao Zhifei, vice director of the Public Security Bureau, Hubei Province, was found liable for the persecution of Falun Gong by a US Federal Court

In July of 2001, Falun Gong practitioner Peng Liang entrusted Falun Gong practitioners in the United States to sue Zhao Zhifei after the police in Hubei Province tortured both his brother and mother to death. Numerous eyewitnesses confirmed that police beat Peng Liang 's younger brother, Peng Min, on January 9th, 2001, causing a fracture in his fifth vertebra and a compression fracture in his neck vertebra, resulting in complete paralysis. He died on the 6th of April, 2001. Peng Liang's mother Li Yingxiu died in the same hospital as her son on the 29th of April, 2001. When her husband, the senior Peng, inspected his wife's body, he discovered numerous injuries on her head and thickened, dried blood in her mouth. The police told him the reason for Li Yingxiu's death was that she "talked too much" after her son's death.

Zhao Zhifei is also the No. 2 person in charge of Hubei Province's 6-10 Office. The brutal killing of Faun Gong practitioners in Hubei Province includes shocking cases such as dragging a practitioner to death behind a speeding motorcycle and burning a practitioner to death.

The day after Zhao Zhifei was served a legal summons in New York City, it is believed he boarded a plane for China and has not returned to the U.S. since

United States District Court Judge Denise Cote entered a default judgement on the 21st of December in 2001, against the Communist Chinese Head of Public Security for Hubei Province, Mr. Zhao Zhifei. The complaint charged Zhao with wrongful death, torture, false imprisonment, crimes against humanity, and other gross violations of international human rights law against Falun Dafa practitioners in his home province of Hubei, as well as the fact that the plaintiff Peng Liang was arrested on August 30th of this year and then disappeared. His whereabouts are still unknown.

US court affirms that Beijing Party Secretary Liu Qi is liable for crimes of torture

After a one-year trial, on the 8th of December in 2004, Judge Wilkin of United States District Court Northern District of California affirmed a magistrate's ruling that Beijing Communist Party Secretary Liu Qi is liable for torture and crimes against humanity committed by the police under his administration in the persecution of Falun Gong.

The civil lawsuit was filed in 2002 by two Chinese citizens, two Swiss citizens, one French and one American and is based on the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victims Protection Act. The six plaintiffs were beaten brutally and tortured in Beijing.

Liu Qi was Mayor of Beijing and received the subpoena in San Francisco on his way to Salt Lake City to attend the Winter Olympics as director of the Chinese Olympic team. He was charged with crimes of torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, arbitrary detention, crimes against humanity, and interference with freedom of religion and belief.

On the 11th of June in 2003, a Magistrate found that Liu was guilty and not entitled to diplomatic immunity, and sent his recommendation to the District Court. On the 8th of December in 2004, the district judge adopted the magistrate's recommendations that Liu was guilty.

One of the six plaintiffs Mr. Leeshai Lemish said that the court ruling was encouraging and provided a good reference for suing Chinese communist officials involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. Though the judge faced pressure from the Chinese regime, he made a ruling based on the facts. It sent an important message to China: those who persecute Falun Gong will be brought to justice. Mr. Lemish said that some officials in the Chinese government violate China's law to persecute innocent people. They must be punished under international law. They must be held liable for what they have done.

Ms. Sandra Colliver, lawyer and Executive Director of the San Francisco based Centre for Justice & Accountability, said, after the United States Superior Court reaffirmed the Alien Tort Claims Act in 2002, that this was an important case. She said that the ruling could be a precedent used in future cases.

Colliver also mentioned that the State Department sent two letters to the judge, asking for the case to be dismissed, saying that the verdict would interfere with foreign policy. The Judge declined the request and stated that the criminal evidence was clear and sufficient. It will not interfere with U.S. foreign policy because the court is defending the principles of the United States in protecting human rights.

Tanzanian court proceeds with case against Chen Zhili, charged with torture and extra judicial killing of Falun Gong practitioners in China

Human rights attorneys filed a lawsuit against current State Councillor Chen Zhili, China's former Minister of Education, during her state visit to Tanzania. She is charged with being responsible for the torture and death of Falun Gong practitioners connected with China's education system. She was ordered to appear before Tanzania's court on the 19th of July in 2004.

Chen was Minister of Education between 1998 and 2003. She is currently the State Councillor in charge of culture and education. During her time as Minister of Education, she closely followed Jiang Zemin's orders within her level of authority, China's education system, and carried out his policies relating to the persecution of Falun Gong. For this singular reason, the persecution of Falun Gong has been especially severe and cruel within China's education system. She implemented a systematic campaign, whereby Chinese youth are taught that hatred of Falun Gong and the suppression of Falun Gong are legitimate. Many students, teachers, and staff members have been detained and persecuted because they practise Falun Gong. At least 61 practitioners in the education system have died due to the persecution. Examples of the persecution include students being forced out of school, murder, disappearance, and illegal detention, all of which are clearly violations of basic human rights.

Between the 7th and 16th of December in 2004, after an initial enquiry, the High Court of Tanzania proceeded to hear the case against Chen Zhili.

Su Rong escapes from Zambia; lawsuit to be filed against him at the International Court of Justice in The Hague

Su Rong was the Party Deputy Secretary of Jilin Province from April 1998 to October 2001. Su was the Party Secretary of Qinghai Province from October 2001 to August 2003 and the Chairman of Qinghai Provincial People's Congress from January 2002 until August 2003, when he became the Party Secretary of Gansu Province. During his tenure in Jilin Province, he was the head of the "Jilin Province Leading Group on the Falun Gong Issue," which was associated with the 6-10 Office charged with "handling the Falun Gong issue." During Su's tenure in Jilin Province, from the beginning of the persecution in July of 1999, he actively supported brainwashing Falun Dafa practitioners, and dismissed them from the Party and from public positions.

On the 4th of November in 2004, a civil suit was filed on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners in China who were insulted, tortured and killed under Su's watch during his tenure as head of the 6-10 Office in Jilin Province, China. Su Rong was served with a summons delivered by a Marshall of the Zambia High Court on the afternoon of the 4th of November in 2004. He was on the way back to his hotel while visiting Zambia with a Chinese delegation led by Central Politburo member Mr. Wu Bangguo. Su had to wait behind to appear in court, leaving the delegation at Lusaka.

On the 8th of November in 2004, Su Rong was charged with contempt of court because he failed to appear in court as ordered. On the 13th of November in 2004, the Zambia High Court held a special hearing on Su Rong's case, but he failed to appear again. Thus, the Zambia police issued an arrest warrant and dispatched personnel to conduct a manhunt. After an extensive and prolonged search, police found Su's personal clothing and belongings at his hiding place, the Chinese Centre for the Promotion of Investment, Development and Trade (Z) LTD, but he was nowhere to be found. According to Taj Pamodzi Hotel records where the delegation lodged, Su Rong checked out on the 8th of November, at 2 PM.

After almost ten days of hiding and under an arrest warrant, Su crossed the Chirundu border post in Zambia and hid in Zimbabwe. Then he escaped to South Africa and flew back to China on Monday evening, the 15th of November, 2004. According to reliable sources, Su Rong indicated that after this trip, he would not be easily persuaded to travel overseas again. Falun Dafa practitioners expressed that they will not give up, and intend to bring Su Rong to justice by taking his case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The French Court sent a Commission Rogatoire Internationale (CRI) to China's counterpart department, requesting related Chinese authorities to cooperate in the corresponding investigation of a lawsuit against Li Lanqing and Sun Jiazheng

At 5 p.m. on the 16th of December in 2004, the French Association of Falun Gong and attorneys William Bourdon and Georges-Henri Beauthier held a press conference at the William Bourdon Law Firm and revealed details of the action to the media.

In December of 2002, on behalf of French Falun Dafa practitioners, renowned French human rights attorney William Bourdon, and human rights lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier from Belgium who was part of the legal action to successfully bring Chilean dictator Pinochet to justice, filed a lawsuit against Li Lanqing, former Deputy Prime Minister of China who was in charge of the 6-10 Office. Li was charged with being an accomplice to torture. In January of 2004, French Falun Dafa practitioners entrusted French attorney Ms. Phelizon to file a lawsuit against Sun Jiazheng, Chinese Minister of Culture and President of the so-called "Internet Ethics Committee," charging him with abusing Internet technology to defame Falun Gong. He was further charged with demonising Falun Gong in the areas of national culture and inciting hatred among people toward Falun Gong, as well as blocking all truthful information about Falun Gong and the persecution of its practitioners.

In July of 2004, the Examining Magistrate in charge of this case sent a Commission Rogatoire Internationale (CRI) to China's counterpart department, requesting related Chinese authorities to cooperate in the corresponding investigation. It is believed that this is the first CRI sent to China in French judicial history and it is perhaps also the first in European judicial history.

According to Attorney Bourdon, whereas in 1987 France ratified the U.N. Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment declared in 1984, the French judicatory has jurisdiction over criminal suspects, Li Lanqing and Sun Jiazheng if they appear in France. The French citizenship of plaintiff Helene Petit, a Falun Gong practitioner, ensures that France has jurisdiction in this case.

Georges-Henri Beauthier, another famous human rights lawyer who also contributed to Pinochet's loss of immunity, introduced a legal action in Belgium regarding the persecution of Falun Gong. He pointed out that Belgian law ensures the right to arrest criminals who commit genocide, including Chinese officials, on Belgian territory. Therefore, ever since Falun Gong practitioners filed a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin charging him with genocide, the Chinese Communist Parties high-ranking officials have not dared to come to Belgium. As an attorney who works with the Belgian Parliament to uphold the rights of persecution victims, Beauthier also condemned the Jiang faction's various slanders against Falun Gong.

Toronto: After failure to follow a court order, Deputy Consul General Pan Xinchun left Canada

In February of 2004, Pan Xinchun, the Chinese Deputy Consul General in Toronto, was declared guilty of libel for slandering Falun Gong practitioners publicly on local media. Canadian diplomatic officials have verified that Pan Xinchun, the former Chinese Deputy Consul General in Toronto, has left Canada. The Ontario Supreme Court convicted Pan Xinchun of libel and ordered him to compensate plaintiff Joel Chipkar, a spokesman for Falun Gong, for his losses. Because of Pan Xinchun's failure to comply with the court order, the court further issued a garnishment against Pan Xinchun's personal assets in the amount of $11,000, to pay for damages and legal fees. Falun Gong practitioner Joel Chipkar submitted an official request on the 16th of November in 2004, through his lawyer to Mr. Pierre Pettigrew, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, in which he asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to proclaim Pan Xinchun as persona non grata. Mr. Chipkar said in the request, "As a Canadian, I don't feel safe. The Chinese Party officials should not be allowed to blatantly violate the safety and rights of Canadians while in Canada, and then ignore court orders and leave."

According to Article IX of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, "The receiving state may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending state that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable." This article allows the receiving state to expel or deny entry to such person.

He also said, "At first, the Chinese consulate wrote a letter saying they will not acknowledge the court order against Pan Xinchun. Now they run away and hide, showing clear evidence of a guilty conscience. I really feel sorry for Mr. Pan Xinchun. He destroyed his whole career by blindly following Jiang's orders and slandering Falun Gong. Now he has lost face and may never again be allowed to re-enter Canada."

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Currently, there are numerous lawsuits in many countries of the world against Jiang Zemin and his followers who persecute Falun Gong, charging the perpetrators with genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity. Lawsuits of this magnitude have seldom been seen since the Nuremberg Trial of Nazi criminals. More lawsuits will be conducted, possibly even in China. Many Chinese officials have since realised that they cannot escape punishment, no matter which corner of the world they run to. High-ranking Chinese officials participating in the persecution of Falun Gong have been placed in an awkward position in their recent visits overseas, fearing charges that may be brought against them by Falun Gong practitioners.

We believe that more similar lawsuits will be filed, and that many lawsuits will also appear in China.

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