This is the first time that a Falun Gong practitioner has brought and prevailed in a lawsuit against a Chinese diplomat for persecuting Falun Gong outside of China. It is the first time a Chinese diplomat has been sued for slander and spreading hatred against Falun Gong. A Western court, finding such conduct illegal, has ruled against such an individual.
Some legal experts said the Canadian court carefully noted the facts and was very clear about the nature of this lawsuit. Defendant Mr. Pan Xinchun publicly declared that Falun Gong practitioners were "[slanderous term] members" an opinion which is outside his duty as a consular official. At the same time he violated Canadian law(s) and his action constituted libel. This verdict sends a solemn warning to all Chinese consular officials abroad. It also provides clear legal base and sets a precedent for Canadian government officials to resist Chinese officials' attempts to interfere with affairs within the Canadian government's jurisdiction.
This seemingly ordinary civil lawsuit attracted fairly wide attention in the international community. Many media in Canada, U.S.A., Hong Kong and Taiwan reported about the lawsuit.
Shaking the foundation of Jiang group's lies that are used to persecute Falun Gong
There is a deeper significance to this case. Since the charge of libel against Deputy General Consul Pan Xinchun was confirmed by the court, and since all of Pan Xinchun's lies were merely repetitions of Jiang's lies spread in Mainland China, doesn't the verdict imply that Jiang's group is also guilty of slandering Falun Gong?
Before the persecution began in July 1999, Jiang blatantly violated the constitution of China, overturning government decision(s) and forcing the persecution of Falun Gong by presidential decree. In October 1999, he used his power to force the National People's Congress to pass a special law as the "legal basis" for this persecution. At the same time he ordered the national media to bombard the public with Falun Gong-slandering propaganda to incite and foster hatred against Falun Gong and poison the people's minds.
In the past few years, Jiang's group has concocted a mountain of lies. One of the biggest and the worst lie was the "Tiananmen Self-immolation" case, which Jiang is used to deceive people into hating Falun Gong and to assist with the escalation of the persecution. Many flaws in this so-called "Self-immolation" were discovered through analysis of a slow-motion version of the self-immolation video made by CCTV [the major state-run TV station in China]. Liu Chunling, one of the self-immolators, was instantly killed by someone who hit her head from behind. None of the self-immolators were ever known to be Falun Gong practitioners.
Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong was based on lies, slander and frame-ups, and all of the excuses he made to justify the persecution are based on lies.
From a certain perspective, the guilty verdict in Pan Xinchun's libel case will have a positive effect to help many people realize Jiang group's lies, slanders and hatred-promoting propaganda, at least in those countries that have free access to information. It will also have an impact on the lies upon which Jiang bases the persecution.
Solemn warning for Chinese diplomats who follow Jiang's methods
In foreign countries, Jiang has always misrepresented the Chinese government's name and forced Chinese diplomats, including Pan Xinchun, to distribute information filled with lies and slander, to encourage people who don't know the truth to hate Falun Gong. They were also ordered to interfere with Falun Gong activities. Such criminal activities fall outside the scope of a diplomat's duty, as stated in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Optional Protocols, yet they are regarded as Chinese diplomats' "top priorities." The outcome of this lawsuit has sent a warning signal to Jiang's group and his followers in Chinese consulates on foreign soil. It tells them they will be held responsible for their illegal conduct.
Regarding the dispute over diplomatic immunity, analysts point out that the verdict has actually clearly resolved this question. Pan Xinchun violated Canadian law(s) and was acting outside of consular functions, so he is not protected by consular immunity. However, the Chinese consular officials' argument on immunity shows they don't understand the laws and neither do they respect the Vienna Convention, yet they follow Jiang's policies and commit crimes in foreign countries that shame China.
Future Domino Effect
The Pan Xinchun case is not the first lawsuit Falun Gong practitioners have won. Over a year ago, the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York issued a default judgment against Zhao Zhifei, Deputy Chief of Public Security for Hubei Province in China and that province's concurrent head of the "610 Office" for violating a U.S. federal law, the Torture Victim Protection Act. Zhao was charged with killing, torture, illegal imprisonment and crimes against humanity. Half a year later, the Federal District Court for the Northern District for San Francisco found former Beijing mayor, Beijing Party secretary Liu Qi and deputy governor for Liaoning Province, Xia Deren, guilty of overseeing the torture of Falun Gong practitioners. People's attention, however, and their reaction springing from Pan Xinchun's libel conviction is unprecedented.
Observers point out that the verdict in Pan Xinchun's libel case will likely start a domino effect, and they believe this will not be the last lawsuit Falun Gong practitioners will win.
Falun Gong practitioners have filed more than 20 lawsuits so far, charging Party officials with libel or torture. Aside from Jiang Zemin, Li Lanqing, Zeng Qinghong, Luo Gan and Wu Guanzheng, Party heads who are members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, Zhou Yongkang, Minister of Public Security; Sun Jiazheng, the Minister of Culture; the National Security Ministry, the Ministry of Public Security and CCTV face lawsuits from Falun Gong practitioners as well. The bulk of the lawsuits are against Jiang. Practitioners in six countries and regions have filed lawsuits charging him with genocide.
Of course, the verdict in the Pan Xinchun slander case is not good news for the defendant nor for the chief criminal guilty of the Falun Gong persecution.
A Falun Gong practitioner from the U.S. commented, "History is just! Anyone who persecuted Falun Gong will be held responsible for their actions. Carrying out orders is also assisting the perpetrator and those who do so will also be held responsible for their crimes."