France: Press Conference to Discuss French Judge's Request for an Investigation into the Persecution Against Falun Gong (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) Substantial progress has been made in the international legal motion filed by French Falun Gong practitioners against high-ranking Chinese Communist Party officials.
In December 2002, on behalf of French Falun Dafa practitioners, renowned French human rights attorney William Bourdon, who was part of the legal action to successfully bring Chilean dictator Pinochet to justice, and human rights lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier from Belgium filed a lawsuit against Li Lanqing, former Deputy Prime Minister of China who was in charge of the 610 Office, a Gestapo-like organization of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that specifically suppresses Falun Gong. Li was charged with being an accomplice to torture. In January 2004, French Falun Dafa practitioners entrusted French attorney Ms. Phelizon to file a lawsuit against Sun Jiazheng, Chinese Minister of Culture and President of the so-called "Internet Ethics Committee," charging him with abusing Internet technology to defame Falun Gong. He was further charged with demonizing Falun Gong in the areas of national culture and inciting hatred among people toward Falun Gong, as well as blocking all truthful information about Falun Gong and the persecution of its practitioners.
In July 2004, the Examining Magistrate who is charge of this case sent a Commission Rogatoire Internationale (CRI) to China's counterpart department, requesting related Chinese authorities to cooperate in the corresponding investigation. It is believed that this is the first CRI sent to China in French judicial history and it is perhaps also the first in European judicial history.
At 5 p.m. on December 16, 2004, the French Association of Falun Gong and attorneys William Bourdon and Georges-Henri Beauthier held a press conference at the William Bourdon Law Firm and revealed details of the action to the media.
According to Attorney Bourdon, whereas in 1987 France ratified the U.N. Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman of Degrading Treatment or Punishment declared in 1984, the French judicatory has jurisdiction over criminal suspects, Li Lanqing and Sun Jiazheng if they appear in France. The French citizenship of plaintiff Helene Petit, a Falun Gong practitioner, ensures that France has jurisdiction in this case.
During the press conference, members of the French Association of Falun Gong announced that Mrs. Faucherie, an examining magistrate at the Court of Justice in Paris, decided to send an International Rogatory Letter to China. This follows two complaints filed in December 2002 and January 2004 respectively, against the former Chinese Vice Premier Li Lanqing and the current Chinese Minister of Culture, Sun Jiazheng.
Lawyer William Bourdon said that was the first time in French and even European judicial history that a CRI was sent to China. This CRI is already in the process of implementation. It was delivered through the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of both countries. The French judge demands the Chinese authorities and investigators to carry out a series of actions to perform the necessary investigations and to verify some facts.
Attorney Bourdon stressed to the media that recently, French Minister of Justice Mr. Perben signed an agreement with China to enhance judiciary collaborations. Therefore, we should request related authorities in China and France to actively collaborate to investigate severe issues such as the persecution of Falun Gong and the crimes committed by the Beijing authorities in launching such a large-scale and broad suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.
Attorney Bourdon revealed that the Commission Rogatoire involves three levels of responsibility: the responsibility of those who directly implement the persecution policy, such as police officers; those who organized the 610 Office and how it operates; and those officials with responsibilities above the level of Minister.
When answering reporters' questions, Attorney Bourdon once again mentioned these three responsibilities. He also stressed that those who manipulate society to support torture, those who provide the means and who issue the orders to carry out torture are clearly accomplices in the torture and are committing crimes.
Georges-Henri Beauthier, another famous human rights lawyer who also contributed to Pinochet's loss of immunity, introduced legal actions taken in Belgium regarding the persecution of Falun Gong. He pointed out that Belgian law ensures the right to arrest criminals who commit genocide, including Chinese officials, on Belgian territory. Therefore, ever since Falun Gong practitioners filed a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin charging him with genocide, the CCP's high-ranking officials dare not to come to Belgium.
As an attorney who works with the Belgian Parliament to uphold the rights of persecution victims, Beauthier also condemned the Jiang faction's various slanders against Falun Gong.
AFP, France Culture, Radio France Internationale (French department), the Central News Agency (Taiwan), New Tang Dynasty TV, the Epoch Times, and French reporters as well as an Arabian TV station came to the press conference. After the press conference, reporters continued talking with practitioners. They took Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials and learned the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution.
These developments, as well as the progress that Falun Gong practitioners have made recently in Africa and Australia, have demonstrated that over the past few years, Falun Gong practitioners have made consistent efforts to peacefully oppose the Jiang regime's persecution. Their efforts, which have gradually shown great power, are starting to break through layer upon layer of the defense lines set up by the Jiang faction in its persecution of Falun Gong by means of the abuse of power.