Recently, under pressure from the Chinese Communist regime, the Attorney-General of the Australian Government has filed three submissions with the Supreme Court of NSW to intervene in three separate lawsuits filed by Australian Falun Gong practitioners against officials of the Chinese Communist regime for torture and crimes against humanity. The Attorney-General has also sought court orders to grant foreign state immunity to the defendants in the three lawsuits, who are Jiang Zemin (former head of the Chinese Communist regime), Luo Gan (former Party Secretary of the Political and Judiciary Committee), and Bo Xilai (former Minister of Commerce) and Chen Shaoji (Chairman of the Political Consultative Conference of Guangdong Province).
As plaintiffs in the lawsuits, we hope the Australian public will understand why we filed lawsuits against the defendants. We would also like to tell the Australian public about the persecution we had suffered at the hands of the defendants and the cruel persecution that hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are still suffering even today. The defendants have unshirkable responsibilities over the atrocities committed during this nearly 9-year-long persecution of beliefs. We hope the Australian legal sector and the general public will make a judgment based on conscience and justice with regard to the issue whether the defendants should be granted immunity or not. At the same time we appeal to the Australian public to pay attention to the fact that DFAT and the Atorney-General are already deviating from the principles of justice and fairness under the pressure from the Chinese Communist regime.
Falun Gong is a cultivation practice of mind and body based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. The practice has not only improved people’s health, but also helped people improve their morality, to become even better people. From 1992 to 1999, the number of people practising Falun Gong increased to close to 100 million in China. Please refer to: www.clearwisdom.net for more details.
In July 1999, defendant Jiang Zemin, for personal reasons, misused the state power and launched the persecution of Falun Gong. Defendants Luo Gan, Bo Xilai and Chen Shaoji closely followed Jiang Zemin and proactively carried out the persecution in their respective provinces. Under the persecution policies of “defaming their reputations, bankrupting them financially, destroying them physically”, “treat all deaths as suicide” and “do not identify their bodies; send them directly to be cremated locally”, more than 800,000 Falun Gong practitioners were unlawfully detained; at least 6,000 were sentenced to imprisonment; more than 100,000 were sent to labour camps, and thousands were sent to mental hospitals, where they were injected with nerve-damaging drugs. A great number of Falun Gong practitioners were kidnapped and sent to brainwashing centres where they suffered ill treatment and mental torment; many more have been subjected to beatings, physical punishment and arbitrary fines. According to incomplete statistics, there are over 100 methods of torture that have been used on Falun Gong practitioners, and to date as a result of persecution, 3128 deaths have been verified. The real figure could be a lot higher.
Furthermore, the Chinese Communist regime has killed a large number of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs. In July 2006, former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia Pacific) David Kilgour and international human rights lawyer David Matas published their independent “Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China”, in which it points out that from 2000 to 2005, the source of 41,500 transplants for the six-year period 2000 to 2005 is unexplained. The report concludes: “Based on what we now know, we have come to the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true. We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.” Mr Matas referred to the organ harvesting as “a form of evil we have yet to see on this planet”. Please refer to report:
for more details.
The three of us have personally experienced and witnessed the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Zhang Cuiying, the plaintiff in the lawsuit against Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan, was unlawfully detained for 8 months in a Chinese jail in 2000, simply because she wanted to clarify the facts of Falun Gong to the Chinese Government. During her detention, she sufferred beatings and was forced to wear heavy shackles. The guards also put her in the male prison section as a form of punishment because she did Falun Gong exercises. She had no bed to sleep on and had to sleep on the concrete floor. Like other inmates, Zhang Cuiying was forced to do slave labour for 10 hours every day. Sometimes they were deprived of sleep and had to work overnight till dawn the next day.
Pan Yu is the plaintiff in the lawsuit against Bo Xilai. In March 2000, he was unlawfully kidnapped and sent to a brainwashing centre in Liaoning Province. In order to force him to give up Falun Gong practice, the police tortured and beat him for days in a row, until his eyes were bleeding, his lips broken and his whole face swelled up. More horrifically, the police shocked his face, his head and the sensitive parts of his body with electric batons of 40,000 volts. The pain made him incontinent. His heart was beating fast and he could hardly breathe. He screamed as he crawled on the floor. The police did not stop, continuing to shock and kick him. His screams could be heard throughout the centre.
Xie Yan, a permanent resident, is the plaintiff in the lawsuit against Chen Shaoji. In October 2000, she was unlawfully sentenced to two years forced labour, and was detained in Chatou Female labour camp in Guangzhou. During her detention, she was subjected to torture. Once, she was hung on a window frame for two days and nights. She was tied up in an agonizing position, where she almost passed out due to the pain. She was forced fed violently. Her esophagus was damaged due to violent insertion of a rubber pipe, which became covered with blood.
We sue the defendants, because this persecution has already resulted in thousands of deaths, and it is still going on; every day, there are innocent Falun Gong practitioners dying as a result of the persecution, and we feel we have an obligation to stop it.
We sue the defendants because they have all committed chilling crimes of torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. Such atrocities destroy human values and morality, and violate human rights, and we feel we have an obligation to stop them.
We sue the defendants because this brutal persecution is gravely challenging the conscience, justice and the universal values of humanity, and it is destroying people’s faith in freedom of belief. We feel we have an obligation to defend our basic human right to freedom of belief.
However, very sadly, our lawsuits have met with intervention from the Attorney-General of the Australian Government. The Attorney-General is now trying to grant the defendants immunity under the excuse of the Foreign State Immunity Act (1985), to absolve them from guilt. An Australian citizen said: “Truth and justice are very important principles in free country like ours. If we abandon these principles, we would be destroying our own country. The intervention of our Government in these lawsuits is putting these principles in danger. Our court should be independent and should protect freedom, truth and justice. If our Government appears in court to assist those Chinese officials who are persecuting their own people, then they are pushing the Australian legal system away from justice.”
We appeal to all kind-hearted Australian people that to uphold our honour and conscience, we must no longer turn a blind eye to the miseries, tortures and the lies under the brutal dictatorship of the Chinese Communist regime. We call on our Government to speak out for justice and not to intervene in the independence of the Australian legal system, to prevent the Chinese Communist regime from using trade interests as an excuse to undermine the fundamental principles of the Australian democracy.
If you support our appeal, please sign the online petition, or, print and sign this letter and post (or fax) it to the Attorney-General’s Department:
I support the three plaintiffs and sincerely hope the Australian Government stands of the side of the people and withdraws from the intervention.
Attorney-General’s Department Central Office
Robert Garran Offices National Circuit,
BARTON ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6250 6666; Fax: (02) 6250 5900