Plaintiff's Open Letter to the People of Australia

My name is Pan Yu; I am responsible for the suing of former Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai for acts of torture upon myself. As Bo failed to provide a defence for the case, on the 5th of November, 2007 the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney issued a default judgement in my favour. The court ruled that I had won the case, and that I could claim compensation against Bo for the injuries inflicted upon my person.

I am very pleased with this ruling as it symbolises a victory for all Falun Gong practitioners who have been subjected to brutal persecution and torture by the Chinese Communist Party. Over the past 8 years, numerous practitioners have been subjected to brutal persecution because they refused to denounce their belief in the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance", and many are still suffering in forced labour camps and prisons in China.

I have been practising Falun Gong for more than 10 years, and have benefited from the practice from many perspectives. I have gradually learned to be a person with tolerance, sincerity and compassion. Falun Gong teaches us to look inside when we are in a conflict and always try to put others first. Following these teachings, I have experienced many big changes: I can control my temper now and I live in harmony with people around me. I feel more joyful and energetic. Like me, tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have experienced such positive changes from practising this ancient art. However, this good practice is still being persecuted in China.

Bo Xilai, the defendant, is a chief culprit of the persecution. While serving as the governor of Liaoning Province, Bo implemented persecution policies and many practitioners were arrested and sent to labour camps or prisons for "transformation". Consequently, at least 300 practitioners died in Liaoning Province, and most were subjected to brutal torture. I am a victim of such torture.

On March 17th, 2000, I was sent to a brainwashing session in the Longshan Detention Centre, where I was tortured. A group of guards beat and kicked me so viciously that my whole face was swollen and bruised and my lips cut. I was beaten to the ground and could not stand up on my own. Once, I was continuously tortured for two days. The most unbearable torture was electric shocking with 40 kV electric batons. I was repeatedly shocked with these batons to the point of losing control of my bladder and bowels.

The guards also used the batons to shock my face and head. It was really painful. As I refused to denounce Falun Gong, they started to shock my penis, and the pain was unspeakable. I felt my heart speed up and I could hardly breathe. I cried out in pain and crawled on the floor. They continued to shock me and kick me. I could not bear the pain and unwillingly wrote a letter promising that I would not practice or appeal for Falun Gong. This is how the regime "transformed" me.

But I survived the torture. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to come to Australia, and as a direct victim I sued Bo Xilai for torture. I am very pleased with the court ruling, which gives me more confidence in the Australian justice system.

In China, it is still impossible to file any lawsuit against these persecution culprits because the whole justice system in China is under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Anyone who dares to speak out for Falun Gong is persecuted. One famous example is attorney Gao Zhisheng. Gao conducted an independent investigation on the persecution of Falun Gong and then wrote three open letters to CCP leaders. In his letters, he revealed the tragic sufferings of Falun Gong practitioners and urged the Party to stop the persecution. In response to his letters, his law firm was closed and his family was repeatedly harassed by plainclothes police. He was unlawfully arrested and tortured. On September 12th, 2007, Mr. Gao wrote a letter to the US Congress to express his concern over the coming 2008 Olympic Games. Using the Olympic Games as an excuse, the regime continues to persecute dissidents and minority groups. Mr. Gao urged the Congress to pay close attention to the persecution of Falun Gong, naming the persecution as the largest humanitarian disaster of this era. Because of this open letter, Mr. Gao was arrested again and now his whereabouts remain unknown.

One who lives in a democratic country may find it very hard to imagine the crimes committed by the CCP and one may not see any of those crimes during a visit to China. However, such crimes are happening throughout China, mostly in labour camps and prisons which are behind steel doors and brick walls.

In the past 8 years, Falun Gong practitioners have been peacefully resisting the persecution and urging the international community to take action. As more and more people have learned the true story of Falun Gong and the persecution, people in succession has stepped forward to support the practice. Most recently, on October 22nd, 2007, Wang Zhaojun, a standing member of Anhui Provincial Political Consultative Council, wrote an open letter to the Chinese president and prime minister. In the letter, Wang urged the leaders to end the persecution of Falun Gong, bring the chief culprits to justice, and pay damages to the practitioners. His letter has received worldwide support.

The persecution of Falun Gong not only violates the Chinese Constitution, the International Declaration of Human Rights, and other related international laws, but also violates fundamental rights and values of human beings. The persecution must be stopped and all the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

Reportedly, Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Downer recently approached the New South Wales Supreme Court in favour of Chinese Communist Party official Chen Shaoji who was sued for arbitrary detention and torture. I am very disappointed by this. Apparently, Australian officials are under pressure from the regime. The regime often use commercial interests to put pressure on other countries.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to humbly remind Australian government officials and the general public: You must see clearly the coercive nature of the Party, uphold the justice and independence of the Australian justice system, and say no to CCP pressure.

This is a serious issue. We are witnessing a very important period in history; a battle between good and evil is taking place. In this mundane world, Falun Gong and all people who support Falun Gong stand for justice while the Chinese Communist Party is evil. Every one of us is facing a test of conscience. I sincerely hope that everyone will pass this test nobly.

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