Terri Theodore, Canadian Press
VANCOUVER (CP) -- A Chinese government
official is the focus of a B.C.
Supreme Court lawsuit alleging a "campaign
of terror'' against followers of Falun Gong.
The five Canadian residents
suing Chen Zhili, who was China's education minister, claim she made key decisions
and had control over those who carried out torture and persecution.
did so contrary to and acting outside Chinese and international laws and the legal
authority of her office,'' says the lawsuit filed Wednesday.
allege she is not entitled to immunity under international law from the lawsuit.
The group is asking for $20 million in compensation for general and special
damages, future care costs, and lost wages.
A statement of claim said while
Chen was education minister from 1998 to
2003 she was at the top of a chain
of command in the Chinese government, "and participated in the systematic,
organized and widespread campaign of persecution of Falun Gong throughout the
Chinese education system.''
Kunlun Zhang, Rong Jin, Wenyu Liu, Ying Zhu,
and Guo Zhaoxia are either Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or in one case
a PhD student at the University of Calgary. The plaintiffs live in Ontario, Quebec
Each of Chen's accusers make allegations of a series of arrests,
detentions, beatings, and electric-shock treatments because they were followers
of Falun Gong.
The plaintiffs claim they have a right to bring the lawsuit
in Canada because they all live in the country, because they would be unable to
obtain justice in the Chinese judicial system, and because persecution of Falun
Gong continues in China.
They say they worry for their safety if they have
to return to China to pursue a claim.
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy
in Ottawa said he hadn't heard about the lawsuit.
© Canadian Press 2006
Posting date: 9/Feb/2006
Original article date: 8/Feb/2006