December 18, 2004

( After one year trial, on December 8, 2004, Judge Wilkin of United States District Court Northern District of California affirmed a magistrate's ruling that Beijing Communist Party Secretary Liu Qi is liable for the crimes of torture and anti-humanity of the police under his administration in persecution of Falun Gong.

One of the six plaintiffs, Leeshai Lemish, a student in Pomona College in California, was interviewed by New Dynasty TV.

On December 13, Falun Gong practitioners held a press conference in front of Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles to announce the news.

A practitioner in Los Angeles said that the civil lawsuit was filed in 2002 by two citizens of China, two Swiss citizens, one French and one American based on Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act. The six plaintiffs were beaten brutally and tortured in Beijing, including Leeshai Lemish, who was arrested and beaten brutally for appealing on Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2001 for Falun Gong.

Liu Qi was Mayor of Beijing and received the subpoena in San Francisco on his way to Salt Lake to attend the Winter Olympics there as director of Chinese Olympic team. He was charged for crimes of torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, arbitrary detention, crimes against humanity, and interference with freedom of religion and belief.

The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) in San Francisco and Ms. Terri Marsh, an independent human rights lawyer, represented the plaintiffs and filed the lawsuit. CJA is a human rights organization to help victims of human rights violations abroad.

On June 11, 2003, a Magistrate found that Liu was guilty and not entitled to the immunity foreign officials and sent his recommendation to District Court. On December 8, 2004, the district judge adopted the magistrate's recommendations that Liu was guilty.

Since Zhao Zhifei, vice director of Public Security Bureau, Hubei Province, was found liable for persecution of Falun Gong by a US Federal Court, Chinese high-rank officials have been lost in four civil lawsuits filed by Falun Gong practitioners. The former Communist Party Secretary, Jiang Zemin, who initiated the persecution, has been sued in many countries. Practitioners legal efforts to safeguard basic rights and stop the persecution is receiving wide attention around the world.

According to the Epoch Times, on the press conference on December 13, Associate Professor Wu Yingnian from Department of Statistics, University of California at Los Angeles said that the lawsuit was one of the 47 filed in 28 countries. The lawsuit scale was seldom seen after Nuremburg Trial of Nazi criminals. More lawsuits will be conducted and possibly in China.

Mr. Leeshai Lemish said that the court ruling was encouraging and provided a good reference for suing Chinese communist officials involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. Though the judge faced pressure from the Chinese regime, he made a ruling based on the facts. It sent an important message to China: those persecuting Falun Gong will be brought to justice.

Mr. Lemish said that some officials in the Chinese government violate China's law to persecute innocent people. They must be punished with international law. They must be held liable for what they have done.