To commemorate the 70th anniversary of International Human Rights Day, a forum was organised by the “Human Rights, Freedom and Tolerance” office of the Canadian government on December 12, 2018. The forum was hosted by Foreign Affairs Minster Chrystia Freeland.
The Canadian Falun Dafa Association was invited to the forum, and its chairman, Li Xun, submitted a 14-name list of Chinese communist officials responsible for gross human rights abuses, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. These names included current and former officials, including Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime.
A letter accompanying the list called on the Canadian government to sanction these human rights violators under Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, also called the Magnitksy Act.
Violating International Covenant
The letter stated that the listed officials were responsible for gross human rights violations, including torture and extrajudicial killing, against individuals seeking to exercise and defend their freedom of religion, belief, expression, and thought, thereby satisfying subsection 4(2) of the Act.
The violations were aimed at eradicating Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, and its practitioners, in a campaign launched by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual practice of ancient Buddhist traditions that espouses the tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
The persecution violates Chinese law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which China is a signatory. The atrocities are carried out by a Gestapo-like extra-legal organisation of the CCP, known as the 610 Office.
The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is a crime of massive proportions and has been acknowledged by governments and NGOs worldwide. While many agents of the CCP across China are perpetrators in this campaign, only a handful have been chosen for this submission.
Top Chinese Leaders on the List of Human Rights Abusers
The listed officials have been selected because of their participation and top leadership roles in these human rights atrocities. These violations are so egregious and extensive that they have gained a degree of notoriety and symbolism.
Compilers of the list believe that sanctions against these individuals would be the most deserving and effective in furthering the cause of international justice and human rights.
Most of the listed individuals no longer occupy public office. Some have previously received judgments for their human rights violations, such as Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan, who have been indicted in Argentina for their role in crimes against humanity committed against Falun Gong practitioners and have warrants issued for their arrest by that country.
These two former officials, along with Bo Xilai and Wu Guanzheng, have also been indicted in Spain for their involvement in genocide and torture against Falun Gong.
In addition, Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xi-lai are both serving life sentences in China for corruption. The list also includes others who have been sanctioned by the present Chinese leadership itself for political reasons, ostensibly.
Exposing Atrocities and Cover-ups
The letter said the collection of materials was built on 18 years of meticulous and painstaking research to assist the Foreign Affairs Ministry in making the determination under the Act.
The materials speak to the nature of evidence, apparatus of persecution, chain of command, the contextual crimes against humanity, and individual participation. They represent a valiant and persevering effort to expose the cover-up in China and shine light on all aspects of the persecution, from torture and extrajudicial killing in detention centres to state-orchestrated forced organ harvesting in Chinese military and civilian hospitals.
At a press conference, Falun Dafa Association chairman Li Xun cited a case of Canadian citizen Sun Xi, who has been jailed in China for 21 months for her belief in Falun Dafa. He also gave 11 names of Canadians or Canadian citizen’s family members who have been arrested in China for their belief in Falun Dafa.
According to Peter Kent, MP and Chairman of Friends of Falun Gong, the human rights violations are getting worse in China and the world should use the Magnitsky Act more, as “the Act has been proven to be an effective tool to sanction those involved in human rights abuses.”
Magnitsky Sanctions Act
This is not the first action targeting communist human rights violators. On December 3, Michael Danby, an Australian MP of Labor Party, presented congress the International Human Rights and Corruption (Magnitsky Sanctions) Act 2018.
The bill sent a clear message to those human right violators that their crimes are facing investigations by the international society.
The Magnitsky Act became a law in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. If Australia passes the law, human rights violators will be banned from entering Australia, their assets frozen, and their children banned from attending Australian colleges and universities.
The United States passed The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in 2016. President Trump signed an administrative order to sanction 13 foreign human rights violators and corrupt officials on December 21, 2017.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said US Treasury would freeze their assets, openly condemn the crimes they committed, and force them to pay heavily for their misdeeds.
The recent reaffirmation of the Magnitsky Act in Australia and Canada will certainly shake officials involved in persecuting Falun Gong in China. They will be held responsible for their actions when violating international human rights law.
Human rights violators, from policy makers to officers following orders, will eventually face a legal trial and condemnation.
Related report in Chinese: