Welcome to the press conference!
First I would like to share with you the background regarding why we want to start legal proceedings against the former head of state in China, Jiang Zemin, and his cohorts for persecuting Falun Gong.
Five years of persecution in China has left its victims devastated; they merely want to follow their spiritual beliefs in peace.
Falun Gong is a popular method for physical and mental wellbeing with its roots in Chinese culture. In the late 1990's, when over 70 million people in China had taken the practice to their hearts, China's head of state at the time, Jiang Zemin, felt his position threatened by the number of people practising and banned the practice.
He then ordered the establishment of a Gestapo-like organization, the "6-10 Office", which uses violence and terror to strike at innocent practitioners, and their families, colleagues and friends. Employers had to fire Falun Gong practitioners; practitioners' children had to quit school; the elderly lost their pensions; many people had to leave their ransacked homes.
The official number of practitioners killed while in custody has reached 1047, although the real number is estimated to be much higher but not yet reported due to the tight information blockade. In China there
exists a comprehensive system of labour camps that serves as a tool for political repression and "reeducation". These labour camps holds at least 100 000 Falun Gong practitioners. And just like what took place in the former Soviet Union, mental hospitals are used to impose medical treatment on dissidents.
Falun Gong practitioners in China have no way to make their voice heard. By bringing Jiang Zemin to court in Sweden, a democratic country with a legal system, we hope to make their voices heard. We are also not alone in doing this: Similar legal actions are already taking place in Germany, France, Finland, Belgium, USA, Australia, England, South Africa and others.
So many people have died, so many lives have been ruined, so much suffering and injustice has been suffered! The perpetrators can never repay what they have done, but we want them to at least know what they did was wrong.
Thank you very much!
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