November 19, 2004

( Lawyers for five practitioners living in Ireland asked the Garda Commissioner over the weekend to investigate and arrest Huang Ju, who is on a three-day official visit to Ireland.

Practitioners in Ireland demand an end to the persecution (photo by The Irish Times)

The Irish Times reported on November 17, 2004, "Lawyers for five members of the group living in Ireland asked the Garda Commissioner over the weekend to investigate and arrest Mr Huang Ju , who is on a three-day official visit to Ireland, and discussions were still taking place between the lawyers and the Commissioner last night.

Diplomatic immunity does not apply to allegations of torture. It is understood that late last night lawyers representing the Chinese group were also considering other avenues of pursuing their objective of having Mr Ju arrested."

The report stated, "Labour Party spokesman for foreign Affairs, Mr Michael D. Higgins heavily criticised the visit of Mr Ju because of the lack of a press conference during the three-day visit. Mr Higgins said: 'No superpower is entitled to operate in such a manner as effectively censors the press from asking reasonable questions, and in this instance there are many reasonable questions.'

The National Union of Journalists has also heavily criticised the lack of opportunity to ask legitimate questions on China's human rights track record. The union has condemned as censorship the manner in which the Chinese Vice-Premier has been able to operate whilst in Ireland.

A spokesman said: 'There is an important distinction to be made between propaganda and news, and it would be particularly alarming if the Irish Government or any representative of the Irish State agreed to facilitate what is a form of censorship.'"

Falun Dafa reported that in July Chen Zhili was brought to court due to her promotion of persecution against Falun Gong in the Chinese education system. Last week Su Rong, Party Secretary of Gansu Provincial Party Committee was listed as wanted. The lawsuit by practitioners in Ireland made Huang Ju uneasy. One day before his arrival, the Chinese Embassy posted a notice that the embassy, including the visa department, would be closed during the three days when Huang Ju visited Ireland. After his arrival, Ireland's media was informed that there would be no press conference, which surprised many reporters.

Huang Ju is an activist in carrying out the Jiang faction's persecution of Falun Gong. On July 23, 1999, the third day after Jiang Zemin initiated the persecution, The People's Daily reported that party secretaries in five provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and Shanghai expressed their attitude to support Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong. Huang Ju was the party secretary in Shanghai. He claimed that the persecution full of unlawful arrests, torture and killing was "just in time and completely correct". He also expressed his attitude that "All levels of party organizations in Shanghai are carrying out the work with a firm hand according to the arrangement of the central government in an orderly and effective way."

In the Eighth Shanghai Conference of Communist Party representatives, Huang Ju claimed in his report that "the main task and striving aim of the next five years" was to "deeply conduct the struggle against Falun Gong".

However, time has changed. The main culprit Jiang Zemin has been sued in many countries. Many of Jiang's followers have had lawsuits filed against them. The persecution of Falun Gong in China has become the focus of the Irish media. On the second morning of Huang Ju's arrival, The Irish Times published a report entitled "Arrest of Chinese Vice-PM sought over torture claims".

On November 17, lawyer Ms. Helen McGovern learned from the Irish Police Commission that the Deputy Commissioner had appointed two special investigators, Bill Donoghue and P.J. Browne to look into this case.

One of the plaintiffs, practitioner Zhao Ming said, "The persecution of innocent Falun Gong practitioners is still going on today. Practitioners begin a new stage from being persecuted passively to pursuing justice with law and investigating perpetrators' crimes. Finally, the perpetrators will have nowhere to run and be brought to justice in China too."