Germany: Deputy Chief of Public Security for Hubei Province in China, Zhao Zhifei, Faces Another Lawsuit (Part I)
(Clearwisdom.net) The Deputy Chief of Public Security for Hubei Province in China, Zhao Zhifei, is being sued in Germany.
The Hubei "610 Office," headed by Zhao Zhifei, is directly responsible for the deaths of 38 Falun Gong practitioners in Hubei Province.
On December 21, 2001, the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York handed down an important verdict in a civil case. It issued a default judgment against Zhao Zhifei, Deputy Chief of Public Security for Hubei Province of China and the Concurrent Head of the "610 Office" of Hubei Province for violating a U.S. federal law, the Torture Victim Protection Act Pub.L. It charged Zhao with killing, Torture, Illegal Imprisonment, and Crimes Against Humanity in the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners in Hubei Province, which was the area under Zhao's jurisdiction. It also pronounced that Zhao was in violation of other international human right laws, and was liable for compensation. That was the first case in which a Chinese official who persecuted Falun Gong practitioners was found guilty overseas for his persecution of Falun Gong.
One of the plaintiffs' lawyers, Terri Marsh, pointed out that Zhao Zhifei certainly would not be able to visit the U.S. again. She said: "We expect that his visa will not be renewed, though we haven't received official confirmation."
On November 21, 2003, Zhao Zhifei was once again sued at the German Federal Prosecution Office in Karlsruhe. 41 Falun Gong practitioners from Europe, North America and Australia filed a lawsuit charging 16 Chinese government officials and police who persecuted Falun Gong, including Zhao Zhifei, with the charges of Genocide, Torture and Crimes Against Humanity, pursuant to German criminal code and German international criminal code. In the lawsuit, Zhao Zhifei, as a primary figure responsible for "610 Office" of Hubei Province, was charged with the responsibility of deployment and coordination in the systematic persecution of Falun Gong. All the public security personnel and the police in Hubei Province were at his command, and he had the responsibility to stop and punish the crimes of human rights abuses committed by people under his jurisdiction. However, during his tenure, the violation of Falun Gong practitioners' human rights was very serious. Instead of stopping the persecution, he even directed and arranged the persecution in person. The case of cruelly torturing Ouyang Ming to death, and 38 out of the 818 death cases included in the attachment to the complaint took place in Hubei Province, which was under Zhao Zhifei's jurisdiction.
In comparison with the civil lawsuit against Zhao filed in the U.S., which was filed as a civil case, the lawsuit in Germany was filed pursuant to criminal code. It means that if the German Court decides that the defendant is guilty of the accused charges, he may be sentenced to life imprisonment. The court will issue an arrest warrant. If the defendant is apprehended, he may have to spend the rest of his life in a German prison. The German Nurenberg Court has formally issued arrest warrants recently for three former Argentine dictators, including former Argentine President Jorge Videla. For this case, the lawyer representing German victims' families in filing the lawsuit against former Argentine dictators is a renowned German criminal attorney, Wolfgang Kaleck. He is also the lawyer presenting this criminal lawsuit initiated by Falun Gong practitioners.
The plaintiff of the civil lawsuit against Zhao Zhifei in the U.S. is Peng Liang, a Falun Gong practitioner from Wuhan. In July 2001, Peng Liang entrusted the Falun Gong practitioners in the U.S. to sue Zhao Zhifei after his younger brother Peng Min and his mother Li Ying Xiu were tortured to death by the police in Hubei Province. It is believed that Zhao Zhifei flew back to China in a rush the next day after he received a subpoena in New York, and he has returned to the U.S. since. According to reliable sources, Zhao started to launch a large-scale arrest of Peng Liang and other Falun Gong practitioners in Hubei Province shortly after he returned to China. Those who were considered to have helped Peng Liang "by providing information to him through the Internet" were, in particular, the major targets of the arrest. Many practitioners in the Wuchang area who were suspected by the police to know Peng Liang were thus arrested and cruelly tortured, and Peng Liang was apprehended as well in August 2001. After being arrested, Peng Liang was first jailed in Wuhan's Second Prison, where those who had committed felonies and those on death-row were imprisoned. Then he was transferred to Wuchang Qing Ling Prison and then the brainwashing class of Wuchang area's "610 Office." During the period when the Sino-American human rights dialogue was held in Washington DC at the beginning of October, 2001, a propaganda campaign initiated by China's state-controlled mass media attacked the lawsuit against Zhao Zhifei, and claimed that both Peng Liang's younger brother and mother had died of natural causes.
One of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit in the U.S., Ms. Marsh observed that instead of directly defending himself against the charges, Zhao responded by 1) instigating the apprehension of Peng Liang and others who were suspected of offering help to him; 2) launching a media propaganda campaign to twist the facts with lies. They tried to falsify the facts' in order to confuse the general public through the state-controlled media and the propaganda machine.
Ms. Tang, from Wuhan in Hubei Province, has lived in German for many years. She and her German husband are also plaintiffs in this lawsuit. She said: "The number of documented cases of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted to death in Hubei province alone is 38, including three people above the age of 60, not to mention the number of undocumented cases. The persecution there has been extremely cruel. Among my relatives and friends, some have been imprisoned; others are being persecuted, and still others have been forced to leave their homes. Because they refused to write a "guarantee" to give up Falun Gong, they were severely harassed and intimidated by the local police, and they may be arrested anytime. In China, people are not able to sue these vicious persecutors who are guilty of the most heinous crimes. As a result, for tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in China, and to bring an end to this vicious persecution sooner, my husband and I, after serious consideration, decided not to remain silent. Our participation in the lawsuit in Germany this time is historically meaningful to us and Falun Gong practitioners as a whole."
The list of Falun Gong practitioners who have died from persecution in Hubei Province:
Hubei Province (38 Persons):
Ren Jinhuan (28 years old, Fang County)
Guo Huafeng (36 years old, Gongan County)
Ou Yangming (41 years old, Huanggang City)
Gui Xunhua (38 years old, Huangmei County)
Chen Xiang (55 years old, the Huangshih City)
Song Wanxue (48 years old, Huangshih City)
He Xingzong (55 years old, Macheng City)
Huang Jianyong (23 years old, Macheng City)
Li Jiju (37 years old, Macheng City)
Li Xuechun 63 years old, Macheng City)
Luo Kaijun (55 years old, Macheng City)
Dafa Practitioner (Macheng City)
Wang Huajun (35 years old, Macheng City)
Chen Caixia (40 years old, Shiyan City)
Ding Wen (32 years old, Shiyan City)
Zeng Xiane 36 years old, Shiyan City)
Wu Mingfang (36 years old, Suizou City)
Cai Mingtao (27 years old, Wuhan City)
Fu Xiaoyun (53 years old, Wuhan City)
Li Changjun (33 years old, Wuhan City)
Li Yingxiu (52 years old, Wuhan City)
Liu QunYing (42 years old, Wuhan City)
Peng Min(30 years old, Wuhan City)
Peng Shunan (53 years old, Wuhan City)
Tian Baozhen (42 years old, Wuhan City)
Wang Haoyun (Wuhan City)
Xia Gangt (32 years old, Wuhan City)
Mei Zhongquan (61 years old, Wuxueshi City)
Zhao Zichu (51 years old, Wuxueshi City)
Qiu Pingan (54 years old, Xiangfan City)
Zhao Yingfeng (65 years old, Xiangfan City)
Xu Yufeng (46 years old, Xianningen City)
Shen Deming (Xiantao City)
Zhang Aijiao (39 years old, Xiantao City)
Hu Youliang (48 years old, Xishui County)
Nan Chuyin (53 years old, Xishui County)
Song Huaping (43 years old, Yingcheng City)
Zhan Wei (31 years old, Yingcheng City)