Argentine Judge Orders Arrest of Top Chinese Communist Party Officials for Crimes Against Humanity

Landmark decision cites ‘genocidal strategy’ used against Falun Gong

On 17 December 2009, in a landmark decision, an Argentine judge indicted and
ordered the local Interpol department to seek the arrest of two high-ranking
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials for their role in crimes against humanity
committed against Falun Gong practitioners. The ruling follows a similar decision
in Spain last month, when the Spanish National Court indicted five top CCP leaders
for their involvement in genocide and torture against Falun Gong.

The two defendants in the Argentina case are former CCP head Jiang Zemin, widely
acknowledged as the chief instigator of the campaign to “eradicate”
the spiritual practice; and Luo Gan, a former Politburo member who oversaw the
610 Office, an extralegal security agency that has led the violent campaign.

“Jiang and Luo’s actions long ago placed them in the same category as the
Augusto Pinochets, Slobodan Milosevics, and Charles Taylors of the world,”
says Falun Gong spokesperson Erping Zhang.

“International justice mechanisms are now catching up with these two as

“This decision is particularly historic because it is not only seeking
to bring perpetrators to justice after the fact, it is also coming at a time
when these crimes are ongoing. The arrest and prosecution of these two men could
literally prevent further torture and killing of innocent Chinese citizens.”

Following a four-year long investigation, Argentine judge Octavio Araoz de Lamadrid
of Federal Court No. 9 issued a 146-page decision and related orders on December
17. The document offers a detailed and damning assessment of the CCP’s persecution
of Falun Gong practitioners in China and the role that the two top officials

“The genocidal strategy ¡­ comprised a broad range of actions arranged
in total contempt for life and human dignity,” says Lamadrid’s decision.
“The designated purpose – the eradication of Falun Gong – was used to justify
any means used. Therefore, torment, torture, disappearances, deaths, brainwashing,
psychological torture were everyday occurrences in the persecution of its practitioners.”

The judge concludes the decision by issuing a national and international order
to capture the pair to be carried out by the Interpol Department of the Federal
Police of Argentina. As such, should the accused former officials travel to
other countries that have extradition treaties with Argentina, they will ostensibly
face being detained and transferred to Argentina to be brought before a court.

According to the attorneys who initially filed the case on behalf of Falun Gong
victims, Dr. Alejandro Cowes and Dr. Adolfo Casabal Elia, the judge’s decision
was based on evidence that included the oral testimonies of 17 victims of torture
and other forms of persecution. The judge also took into account the testimony
of two medical doctors, United Nations reports, and research by human rights
groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

“The CCP has already exerted tremendous political and economic pressure
to squelch this and similar lawsuits,” says Zhang. “All the more reason
why Judge Lamadrid should be applauded for his integrity and impartiality in
handling this case. We urge the Argentine authorities to remain vigilant in
the face of the CCP’s pressure and continue the historic process of bringing
these criminals to justice.”

The decision was taken under the legal principle of universal jurisdiction,
which allows domestic courts to hear cases of genocide and crimes against humanity
regardless of where they occur.

“I understand that in the present case the principle of universal jurisdiction
must be applied in view of the [severity of the] crimes, the number of victims
affected, and the ideological nature of the actions taken against members of
the Falun Gong religious group,” the judge said in his ruling.



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