According to a report posted on the Falun Gong website Minghui.org (the Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net) on the 8th of November, 241 family members of Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China have filed lawsuits with the National People's Congress, the Supreme People's Prosecuting Bureau and the Judicial Department, The High Prosecutor for Hunan Province, the Hunan Province Judicial Department, and prosecutors and judicial departments at the city level. In a letter, the relatives enumerated the tortures that 41 perpetrators had used on their family members, Falun Gong practitioners. These 41 perpetrators were the under direct supervision of Zi Wei, the deputy head of Chishan Prison in Yuanjiang, Hunan Province. The family members also called for the punishment of the perpetrators.
First class action lawsuit by family members serves to expose the facts
The plaintiffs' lawsuit lists tortures used on practitioners at the Chishan Prison. They include: "The use of instruments of torture; assemblies to slander Falun Gong; slave labour and subsequent beating if the practitioners fail to meet the assigned workload."
Those abusive acts resulted in some practitioners being covered with bruises and verging on the brink of death.
The suit lists the names of the 41 perpetrators. The end of the document states,
"The above perpetrators violated Article 234 of the Criminal law, 'Whoever intentionally inflicts injury upon another person shall be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or public surveillance.' Article 247 states, 'Any judicial officer who extorts confessions from a criminal suspect or defendant by torture or extorts testimony from a witness by violence shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention. If he causes injury, disability or death to the victim, he shall be convicted and given a heavier punishment in accordance with the provisions of Article 234 or 232 of this Law.' The charges also refer to transgression as stated in Article 397 of the Criminal Law for crimes of abuse of power. The perpetrators also violated the Labour Law and the Prison Law. Therefore, we strongly urge the government to conduct an investigation, punish the perpetrators and release the victims."
This is the first class action lawsuit filed against persecutors by members of Falun Gong practitioners' families. It serves as a powerful witness and presents evidence revealing the ruthlessness of the persecution. In the past few years, the persecution by ringleader the Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin and his group has resulted in the deaths of 1,113 practitioners (verified through civil means); the illegal incarceration of 6,000 practitioners; and the illegal forced labour reeducation of more than 100,000 practitioners, many of whom suffered unimaginable gross physical abuse and mental torment.
The suit also exposes the lies perpetrated by the ringleader Jiang Zemin and his accomplices concerning brainwashing classes, detention centres, forced labour camps, and prisons. They claim they are using the "gentle rain" method to "educate and reform" Falun Gong practitioners.
Upholding rights and legally prosecuting perpetrators
This class action lawsuit represents the voices of the victims. The family members of Falun Gong practitioners know firsthand the tremendous benefits Falun Gong has bestowed on their loved ones who conducted themselves according to Truth, Compassion, Tolerance. Since the persecution began, however, they have had their families broken up, being fined outrageous sums of money and have being forced into homelessness. They are uniquely entitled to uphold theirs and their family members' rights and demand justice through legal means.
In order to maintain the persecution, Jiang Zemin and his regime not only tried its best to cover up facts and fabricate slanderous stories, they also deprived practitioners of their right to appeal and take legal action to protect their rights. Judicial departments and legal departments ignored cases involving Falun Gong on orders from Jiang, so for the past five years Falun Gong practitioners and their families had nowhere to turn.
As condemnation from the international community grew, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the persecution. More and more practitioners and their family members have fearlessly stepped forward to take legal action against the responsible perpetrators. They are not seeking revenge but are seeking to uphold justice and a sense of conscience.
It is only fair that people who commit crimes be held responsible for whatever harm they inflict upon others.
We are inspired by this courageous act, because it not only suppresses the evil but will also help us to expose the persecution in a more thorough manner, to awaken people's conscience, and to deepen their understanding of the persecution.
"The greatest human rights act since World War II"
This civil lawsuit is not an isolated incident. It is part of a global effort to resist the persecution and bring ringleader Jiang and his group to justice.
As of October 2002, Falun Gong practitioners outside of China have charged Jiang Zemin with "genocide, torture, crimes against humanity" in ten countries including the USA, Belgium, Spain, Germany, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Canada and New Zealand. Accomplices Luo Gan, Liu Jing and Zhou Yongkang have also been served with lawsuits. Currently, 27 lawyers around the world are participating in over 40 lawsuits against Jiang's group for their persecution of Falun Gong, and the world media calls it "the greatest human rights act since World War II."
In October 2004, the World Organisation to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong wrote a letter to Chinese officials, demanding that ringleader and head perpetrator Jiang Zemin be brought to justice and that all who took part in the persecution and beat, tortured and murdered practitioners be held legally responsible and punished.
All the Chinese people who have learnt the truth about these perpetrators will be a part of this great human rights act, this historic legal action. All efforts aimed at ending this inhuman persecution will be recorded in human history. Justice shall prevail!
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