Falun Gong practitioners living in Scotland who initiated lawsuits against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin were the subject of a media report published in The Ferret, an online investigative journal, on September 4, 2015.
The article titled “Chinese dissidents sue former president alleging torture” told the story of two female practitioners who had been granted refugee status in Scotland, and who have recently filed lawsuits against Jiang. Another version of the article was published a week earlier in the Daily Record.
According to the article, 30 Chinese nationals living in Britain have filed lawsuits against Jiang Zemin since May this year. In the last few months, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners around the world have initiated lawsuits against Jiang, with the majority of the plaintiffs still residing in China.
Jiang Zemin was China’s leader from 1993 to 2003. He is the target of the lawsuits because he personally ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999. A legal memorandum issued at the start of May allowed more protections for plaintiffs to file lawsuits. This memorandum has acted as a catalyst for the lawsuits.
Jiang set up the 610 Office in 1999 to monitor and persecute the more than 100 million practitioners who were practising in China at the time. The number of deaths through torture as a result of his directives cannot be officially confirmed, but according to estimates from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong at least 2 million practitioners have been killed for their organs.
Doctor Denise Yu who lives in Edinburgh was one of the two women interviewed in The Ferret report. Yu was granted refugee status by the UK government in 2013.
Yu told the reporter, “In April 2001, I was sent to the brainwashing centre of Haidian district, Beijing city. I was placed in a room with a group of people surrounding. They were urging me to denounce Falun Gong. When I refused they forced me to squat and kicked me and swore at me. They also threatened me that I would not be allowed to see my daughter any more until I was ‘reformed.'”
Yu was arrested again in April 2005 and spent five years in Beijing Women's Prison. According to her criminal complaint, she was physically and mentally abused. One of the torture methods used was being forced to sit on a small stool for up to 18 hours a day. If she fell off the stool the guards and inmates acting under the guards direction would beat her.
The report also mentioned another practitioner named He Mingfang who now lives in Glasgow.
He Mingfang told the reporter that she was persecuted for practising Falun Gong.
In February 2000, He Mingfang was forced by the authorities to leave her job. “I have been subjected to severe mental pain and suffering,” she said.
The report also mentioned local efforts to see that transplant tourism to China is banned in Scotland. Most of the organs transplanted in China have been taken from executed prisoners, including Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.
“They would like Scotland to introduce legislation to outlaw transplant tourism and have the backing of Edinburgh councillor Jim Orr who is trying to get a bill sponsored at the Scottish Parliament,” the report said.
Orr told the The Ferret reporter, “With Scottish based Falun Gong practitioners we are seeking an MSP to sponsor a bill to restrict transplants abroad only to countries with ethical and transparent transplant systems. As part of this we are raising awareness of all the emerging and compelling evidence of organ harvesting.”
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