(Clearwisdom.net) As reported by the Central News Agency on March 15, 2004, Professor Zhang Kunlun, a Canadian citizen and a Falun Gong practitioner, has asked the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Mr. Irwin Cotler, in a letter, to permit Ottawa criminal lawyer Mr. Lawrence Greenspon and Winnipeg-based international legal expert Mr. David Matas to act as private prosecutors in a lawsuit to bring Mr. Zhang's persecutors to justice. If granted, the lawyers could seek an arrest warrant for Professor Zhang's alleged Chinese torturers, including Jiang Zemin (Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China]; Luo Gan (Secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the CPC Central Committee]; Liu Jing (Deputy Minister of Public Security Department and the Chief of the "610 Office"]; Wu Guanzheng (member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and secretary of the Shandong Provincial Party Committee) and 18 other Chinese officials who participated in the persecution against Professor Zhang Kunlun. Professor Zhang, Mr. Greenspon and Mr. Matas held a press conference where they made public the letter to the honorable Mr. Cotler.

Because of his cultivation practice in Falun Dafa, 63-year-old Professor Zhang Kunlun was abducted by the Chinese police four times and was subject to illegal imprisonment where the disciplinary staff shocked him with cattle prods, subjected him to brainwashing and tortured him in many other ways. According to Professor Zhang, the most painfully abiding memory was that before he was about to be released the special agents in the forced labor camp once lured him to play chess and do some painting and had cameras secretly filming footage and the Chinese media used the footage to forge TV propaganda to conceal the persecution in the forced labor camp and to attack Professor Zhang's credibility. Being unwittingly cast in the carefully plotted propaganda footage designed to sustain the persecution against Falun Gong has caused Professor Zhang great emotional stress and pain.

Professor Zhang has asked Attorney General Cotler to allow him to use a part of Canadian Criminal Code and an anti-terror regulation that became effective in 2001 in order to bring 22 Chinese officials, including Jiang Zemin, to justice. Professor Zhang has identified the 22 officials as the masterminds behind the persecution of Falun Gong. Mr. Matas said that Professor Zhang has a very strong and unprecedented case in Canada. Because he became a Canadian citizen while he was subject to the persecution in China, he is entitled to file a lawsuit against his torturers based on the Canadian Criminal Code, even though the persecution did not take place in Canada and the torturers do not reside in Canada.

According to Professor Zhang's court statement, the police from Keyuan Road Police Station abducted him and ransacked his home in the year 2000 because he had relayed the news to others that a Falun Dafa Radio Station had been officially launched on July 1, 2000. Once in the police station, several policemen immediately knocked him down to the ground. The Head of the Keyuan Road Police Station, Mr. Zhang Huisheng and another policeman, Mr. Liang Jian, each took a cattle prod and shocked him simultaneously. Zhang Huisheng fiercely declared, "General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin (his former job title) has instructed us that we may torture Falun Gong practitioners at will and, if a Falun Gong practitioner dies during the torture, we may simply bury him and claim it as a suicide." Professor Zhang added, "China is virtually a giant prison for Falun Gong practitioners. We are forced to live in this reign of terror and have no way to reason with our torturers."

In the letter to the honorable Attorney General Cotler, Mr. Mata and Mr. Greenspon said that the Chinese government has included the persecution against Falun Gong as part of the national policy. Mr. Matas added that it is beyond realistic hope to file lawsuits in China against the torturers of Falun Gong practitioners because both the court and court trials are not independent from the Chinese government or its policy when it comes to Falun Gong.

Mr. Greenspon said "We hope that the Attorney General will allow us to prosecute the 22 torturers for the 45 charges of persecution. We have identified these 22 Chinese officials as the main participants of the persecution against Mr. Zhang Kunlun. The persecution against Mr. Zhang Kunlun was traced directly to these torturers, the officials from the '610 Office' [1] that had given orders to do so, all the way up to Jiang Zemin. Eight out of the 45 criminal charges are directly against Jiang Zemin."

Mr. Matas explained that a different set of orders from the top levels of the Chinese government drove each of the four arrests and tortures that Mr. Zhang was subject to. Each and every participant in the persecution against Mr. Zhang must face the legal consequences of his actions. Who plotted these arrests? Who were involved in the arrests? Who were parts of the plot? Who performed the torture? No one will escape the legal consequences of their participation in the persecution. Jiang Zemin is sitting on top of the "pyramid" of the persecution system that he has built and will ultimately have to be responsible for the persecution against Mr. Zhang.

When it comes to the issue of how to bring criminals outside Canada to justice, Mr. Matas said that, although we cannot take them to court yet, we have started the legal process. Once they are convicted, we will have three ways to bring them to justice. First of all, we can give these people warnings that once they appear in Canada, we will arrest them and start the legal procedure. Second, the conviction will shock and restrain their behaviors because, if any problem arises in the legal procedure in China or if the legal procedure in China violates international law, an independent court will conduct a separate trial. Third, we can extradite them. "If the Attorney General were to allow it, Canada, in theory, could go to Interpol with these charges and they could go for an extradition treaty," said Matas. "If anything this could bottle these people up in their own country so they cannot leave."

When it comes to the issue of whether Jiang Zemin may claim legal immunity as the head of the state, Mr. Matas pointed out that Jiang Zemin is no longer the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and may not claim head of state immunity. People have learned from similar cases that those who violate international laws will not enjoy legal immunity forever. Mr. Matas used the lawsuits against Augusto Pinochet, the leader of the dictatorial military regime in Chile, as an example. [2] Mr. Matas said that, if the Attorney General allows it, this case would first have a positive impact on those who are suffering from torture in China right now. "I hope that Chinese political leaders will think twice before they continue to torture Falun Gong practitioners because they are likely to face lawsuits for their crimes."


[1] "610 Office" is a Gestapo-like agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems. Due to pressure from the international community, the Chinese Communist government has renamed the "610 Office" on October 15, 2003, and lied to the world, stating that the "610 Office" has been "disbanded."

[2] Given the practical impossibility of having Pinochet tried in Chile for his crimes against humanity, alternatives were sought in other countries. The Spanish courts were the first to accept their legal and moral obligations under international law and initiate investigations into the responsibility of Pinochet and other Chilean military for crimes against humanity.