Justice Closes In On Former Chinese Leader
Jiang Zemin Faces Genocide Charges in U.S. District Court
Press Statement from the Falun Dafa Information Center
WASHINGTON DC (FDI) – For the last four years in China, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin has implemented a systematic policy to “eradicate” Falun Gong – a peaceful spiritual practice based on the values of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.
Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin faces charges of genocide, torture and crimes against humanity in a U.S. District Court. (full text of complaint)
Jiang has mobilized virtually every apparatus of the Chinese Communist regime to detain and torture Falun Gong practitioners until they either renounce their faith or face being tortured to death. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the U.S. government (news), and other organizations have documented hundreds of deaths of Falun Gong practitioners from abuse in Chinese police custody.
Reliable sources within the Chinese government say the true death toll is well into the thousands (reports / sources). More than 100,000 practitioners are known to have been arbitrarily detained in prisons and labor camps where they face brutal violence, medieval forms of torture, rape, and other horrific methods designed to destroy them mentally and physically.
Former Chinese Leader Served with U.S. Lawsuit
On October 18, 2002, individual plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, against Jiang and the Falun Gong Control 6-10 Office (a nation-wide Gestapo-like agency created by Jiang specifically to persecute Falun Gong).
Specific causes of action pleaded in the complaint include torture, genocide, and denial of the right to life. Also cited are violations of the previously mentioned rights and protections as embodied in customary international law as well as conspiracy to commit violations of civil rights against Falun Gong within the jurisdiction of the U.S. (special report / full text of complaint)
Two days after the lawsuit was served in Chicago, China’s foreign ministry tried to deny the lawsuit even existed, but was forced into retreat when pressed by Associated Press reporters in Beijing. Meanwhile, Jiang’s supporters began mounting a campaign to pressure the U.S. State Department in an effort to block the court process.
The class action against Jiang is the fifth lawsuit to be served on high-ranking Chinese officials for their roles in persecuting Falun Gong in China.
In a landmark ruling, on December 21, 2001 a default judgment was handed down by U.S. District Court against Zhao Zhifei, the head of Public Security for Hubei Province. Zhao was served with a complaint five months earlier in New York City charging wrongful death, torture, crimes against humanity, and other gross violations of international human rights law in persecuting Falun Gong.
Zhao quickly fled the country, and returned to China without responding to the lawsuit.
An International Effort to Bring Jiang and the “6-10 Office” to Justice
The U.S. lawsuit is only one of many international legal actions against Jiang and the 6-10 Office. In December last year, William Bourdon and Georges-Henri Beauthier, the two human rights lawyers responsible for prosecuting the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, filed a suit in France charging 6-10 Office director Li Lanqing with torture and other crimes against Falun Gong practitioners (news).
On March 18th at this year’s United Nations Human Rights Commission, Phillip Grant, a Swiss lawyer who heads the non-governmental organization TRIAL, announced an international effort to bring legal action against Jiang and the 6-10 Office in Switzerland and 59 other nations for crimes against humanity, torture and genocide (news).
U.S.-China Relations is Not U.S.-Jiang Relations
Jiang ruled China in a tyrannical fashion while in power, but his stranglehold on the Chinese government has been severely weakened only months after stepping down from the nation’s top post.
According to a May 1 Washington Post article, “Officials loyal to Jiang [Zemin] … are believed to have backed the idea of underreporting the SARS epidemic and lying to the World Health Organization and foreign governments about its spread.” The Washington Post article also made clear that the political fallout from the SARS handling has emboldened the new Chinese President, Hu Jingtao, to more securely take the reigns of the country, and has ushered Jiang loyalists into a retreat.
Furthermore, the growing distaste for Jiang among the Chinese people has only added to this reversal of fortunes. According to Yu Maochun, a China specialist at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, “The Jiang clique has miscalculated the situation [SARS] and is becoming rapidly irrelevant… Jiang is being chastised as a narcissistic freak obsessed with his own alleged charm,” the Washington Post reported.
Jiang’s misstep in handling the SARS outbreak, however, was merely the latest in a long list of blatant disregard for the lives of the Chinese people.
With Falun Gong, Jiang has engulfed the entire nation in a Mao-era mass movement of lies, deceit, hatred and violence. Along the way, thousands have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands have languished in forced labor camps, and tens of millions have been forced to choose between looking the other way or be victimized themselves by the campaign. Jiang does not represent the Chinese people, nor does he represent China or the future of China.
Clearly, U.S.-China relations are no longer linked with U.S.-Jiang relations.
Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice
The perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity must be brought to justice and be punished in accordance with the due process of law. The U.S. lawsuit against Jiang and the 6-10 Office and other lawsuits like it around the world are precisely the wheels of due process turning.
We call upon the governments of the international community to do what they can to nurture such due process so that Jiang Zemin and the 6-10 Office can and will be brought to justice.
# # #
PRESS STATEMENT - May 07, 2003
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.
With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report), fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.
The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 669 deaths (reports / sources) since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600, while expert sources estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.
Download: as .doc | .htm
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER
Contacts: Gail Rachlin (+1 917-757-9780), Levi Browde (+1 646-415-0998), Erping Zhang (+1 646-533-6147), or Christina Chai (+1 917-386-5068).
Fax: 646-792-3916 Email: , Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/