On September the 8th 2004, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals presented its opinion in the lawsuit against Jiang Zemin and the "6-10 Office." The higher court upheld the lower court's decision issued on September the 12th 2003. Although the court expressed sympathy with the legal points made by the plaintiffs, it insists, "success depends on diplomacy, not United States courts."
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals didn't render an opinion regarding the plaintiff's argument as it pertains to Jiang's immunity as a former head of state
The plaintiffs' lawyer clearly stated the reasons in the appeal why the lower court should not have granted Jiang Zemin immunity. Nevertheless, the judges at the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals didn't comment on this argument.
The plaintiffs' lawyer Terri Marsh noted, the principle articulated in Plaintiffs' briefs and in oral argument, that "immunity is not impunity." Even apart from the House of Lords decision in the Pinochet case, the recent Pinochet decision in Chile, or the ICJ ruling in Belgium v Congo - all supportive of the non-immunity of former heads of state -- the principle of non-immunity applies to Defendant Jiang Zemin under U.S. case law which clearly states that "alleged acts of torture, execution and disappearances of a dictator are not official acts...because the officer is not doing the business he was empowered to do." (Hilao v Marcos, 25 F. 3d 1477).
Countless evidence in past human rights reports and investigations made by international human rights organisations show that Jiang started the persecution against Falun Gong only to satisfy his personal political desire, and it's not a decision made by the Party or the government as a whole. Jiang's brutal persecution has lasted over five years, and countless innocent people of Chinese mainstream society had their families broken up and they were forced to leave home. This is a severe human rights violation well known around the world. How can immunity be granted in consideration of the law, justice, morality and conscience?
The international society and China now know the true nature of the persecution
Both the international society and China now know that Jiang's persecution is wrong. CNN's senior China Analyst Willy Lam wrote, "Jiang has mobilized a Mao-era mass movement against... Falun Gong, ... and the most severe criticism leveled at Jiang's handling of Falun Gong is that he seems to be using the mass movement to promote allegiance to himself."
Falun Gong's Clearharmony website publishes reports on the persecution and torture deaths of Falun Gong practitioners on a daily basis. Jiang used the whole government machinery to systemically and brutally persecute Falun Gong, and the means with which the tortures were carried out are shocking.
Human rights reports by Mark Palmer, the former U.S. ambassador to Hungary, CNN's senior China Analyst Willy Lam, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the human rights reports of the U.S. State Department all have mentioned that innocent children, young mothers, babies, and the elderly were tortured, brainwashed and murdered as well as being subjected to other forms of physical and mental torture; the scope of the persecution includes China and other countries around the world.
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Jiang immunity, even after learning the truth and knowing that the persecution should be stopped; the plaintiffs have decided to appeal to the Supreme Court
In fact, people in the judicial, legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government know the persecution against Falun Gong is wrong and should be stopped. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals also clearly understands the severity and brutality of the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners as stated in the plaintiffs' appeal.
The Court's sensitivity to the issues presented by the Plaintiffs-Appellants is clear throughout their Opinion. For example, the Court acknowledged former President Jiang Zemin's role in initiating the persecution, by among other things, the establishment of the legal Office 610, his issuance of the July 1999 edict banning Falun Gong, followed by arrests and alleged "farcical trials, torture, forced labour, re-education, and the killings of members." This language, and especially their characterisation of the "mock trials" of Falun Gong practitioners as "farcical" underscores the huge gap between the rights guaranteed to the Chinese people by their Constitution and the Jiang regimes' use of the legal system to not only deprive so many Chinese citizens of these very same rights, but to torture, brainwash and exterminate them unlawfully.
Although the U.S. government requested the court grant Jiang immunity during the in-court arguments in May 2004, Department of Justice attorney Douglas N. Letter described the persecution as "heinous." In the past years, the United States' legislative arm has also passed resolutions to call for the end of the persecution or to condemn the brutality of the Jiang's regime.
Falun Gong practitioners and their lawyers around the world believe justice will prevail
Human rights advocates around the world believe that the persecution of Falun Gong will not last much longer. The Falun Gong practitioners are suing Jiang Zemin and his followers to bring the head perpetrator to justice and make it possible for more people to learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Lawyers of the "Global Trials Against Jiang Zemin Attorneys Group" said that they would never give up in their efforts to bring the perpetrator to justice. They will continue to file lawsuits against Jiang and his followers until they receive just punishment.
References about this case
In October 2002, individual plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in Chicago in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, against Jiang Zemin and against the Falun Gong Control Office ("Office 6/10").
On September 12, 2003, the District Court announced Jiang Zemin would not be prosecuted because of immunity as a head of state. On September 15, 2003, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Terri Marsh, and a group of Falun Gong practitioners held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., stating that they were planning to file a Motion for Reconsideration with the District Court and an Appeal with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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