Lawsuit Against Jiang: Brief of Amici Curiae International Law Professors in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants and Urging Reversal
Plaintiffs A-F v. Jiang
Brief of Amici Curiae International Law Professors in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants and Urging Reversal
On January 26, 2004, Professor Jordan Paust of University of Houston Law Center filed Brief of Amici Curiae International Law Professor in support of plaintiffs-appellants in Plaintiffs A-F v. Jiang, with the US 7th Ciruit Court in the ground-breaking lawsuit against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and the Falun Gong Control Office of China Communist Party. Terri Marsh, Counsel of Record for plaintiffs-appellants, filed the principal brief on Jan. 20, 2004 asking the 7th Circuit Court to reverse the decision of the U.S. District Court and allow the case to go forward.
By January 29, 2004, more amici briefs will be filed by leading human rights and international law experts in support of the plaintiffs-appellants. They include 1) Morton Sklar on behalf of the World Organization for Human Rights, USA (formerly World Organization Against Torture, USA) and other human rights organizations such as World Service Authority and The Global Coalition To Bring Jiang To Justice; and 2) the Center for Justice and Accountability, a leading organization that works to deter torture and other severe human rights abuses around the world by helping survivors hold the perpetrators accountable.
In connection with the filing of these amici briefs, David Gallup, President and General Counsel of World Service Authority has written to support Falun Gong's legal action to hold perpetrators accountable for the persecution in China. The following is a summary of Mr. Gallup's statement.
Defendant Jiang is subject to civil tort jurisdiction in the United States (US) for reported human rights violations against members of the Falun Gong group.
1. The Executive Branch of the Government of the US (and its suggestion of immunity) does not have binding powers in this case.
2. Defendant Jiang does not enjoy "foreign sovereign immunity" in this case due to gross violations of human rights and to his abuse of power. Defendant Jiang has committed gross violations of human rights that effectively waive his "sovereign immunity" in this case. Defendant Jiang has abused his power while President of the PRC and so does not enjoy "sovereign immunity" in this case.
3. A denial to hear this case, on the part of the US, violates the Geneva Convention.
4. This case obligates action by the US under international treaty law and customary international law including the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948 and UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (EDRB), 1953. Further, China has also ratified these international treaties.
1) Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), 1984 Ratified by the PRC on 3 November 1988.
2) Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPG), 1948 Ratified by the PRC on 18 April 1983.
3) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), 1966 Signed by the PRC 5 October 1998.
Considering that the US is a member-state and a permanent Security Council member of the United Nations (UN) further obligates the US to uphold these treaties. This requirement is outlined in the Charter of the UN under Articles 55 and 56 which state that governmental Representatives are bound to "promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion" and "All Member-States pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in cooperation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55." Referring back to Part Three, the US has the obligation to discourage the wanton violations of the UN Charter, as established by Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
US President George W. Bush has acknowledged the situation of the Falun Gong practitioners in an excerpt from his speech to the American Jewish Congress on Thursday 3 May 2001, "And most recently adherents of the Falun Gong spiritual movement have been singled out for arrest and abuse." Furthermore in a letter, dated 13 March 2002, addressed to US Congressman Benjamin Gilman, President Bush wrote "my Administration and the American people remain firmly committed to the defense of human rights around the world, including the freedoms of religion and conscience ... We have repeatedly stressed to the Chinese Government that there is no justification for its brutal repression of Falun Gong." Thus, the case against Defendant Jiang is parallel to the policy desires of President Bush, especially because this case deals directly with a former public official's alleged human rights abuses against a group exercising its right to freedom of expression and conscience.
Considering the above-mentioned statements by the head of the US Executive branch, the alleged gross human rights abuses in violation of international treaty law and customary international law, and the alleged abuse of power as President of the PRC, Defendant Jiang is subject to civil tort jurisdiction in the US.
World Service Authority, a global non-profit organization founded in 1954, educates about, promotes and implements human rights, world citizenship and world law. It works to advance the understanding of and respect for universal human rights, as have been reaffirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the myriad of other international treaties and Conventions on human rights. It works to advance the understanding that peace is a consequence of law and that world peace will follow from the affirmation of world law legislated, adjudicated and enforced by global governmental institutions such as a world parliament, a world court of human rights, a world peace force and a world executive council.
For further information, please contact David Gallup, World Service Authority, 1012 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 2005, Tel: (202)638-2662 www.worldservice.org