Unyielding in the Face of Brutality; Seeking Justice with an Unshakable Belief
On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin's regime started persecuting millions of Falun Gong practitioners by means contrary to the Constitution and law. Numerous reports indicate that villains who follow Jiang's persecution policies and the "610 Offices" at all levels across the country have arbitrarily abused the Constitution and laws of China. Almost all practitioners have been deprived of their rights to appeal to the government at all levels, to practice Falun Gong exercises in public, to display Falun Gong banners, to publish Falun Gong literature, to produce and present audio and video tapes, and to distribute Falun Gong truth clarification materials.
Practitioners are illegally tried or even sent to forced labor camps, detention centers, and brainwashing centers without a lawful trial. Lawyers that practitioners have hired are not allowed to present a plea of innocence as a defense for Falun Gong practitioners. Court hearings are not open to the public, and family members are not allowed to review the merits of the case. Practitioners have no appeal rights to superior courts.
Even under such conditions, practitioners across the country, their families and people in the legal and judicial field, including lawyers, have not given up seeking justice and filing lawsuits against these vicious thugs. In this article, several examples are cited below. We hope that people will see through the violence and threats, and just how people of justice and bravery in China are fighting these crimes in a rational and peaceful fashion.
1. The effort to bring Jiang to justice started in China
In recent years, Falun Gong practitioners outside China have filed lawsuits against Jiang Zemin, the instigator of the persecution, for genocide and crimes against humanity in the United States, Belgium, Spain, Taiwan, Germany, Korea, Canada, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, and the Netherlands.
But in August 2000, before all of the above lawsuits were filed, Beijing resident Wang Jie and Hong Kong resident Zhu Keming mailed an appeal to the Supreme Procuratorate of the People's Republic of China in Beijing, charging Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, and Zeng Qinghong of illegally banning and suppressing Falun Gong. Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan went into a frenzied rampage against both plaintiffs. Wang Jie was persecuted to death, while Zhu Keming was secretly sentenced to five years in prison, where he remains. However, this significant case of an appeal for justice is a beacon that not only effectively shocks the evil, but also encourages millions of Falun Gong practitioners to remain unyielding in the face of threats and violence, and to safeguard the basic rights to which the Constitution and law have entitled its citizens.
Clearwisdom.net reported that on July 17, 2001, mainland Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Peng Liang entrusted practitioners in the U.S. to sue Zhao Zhifei, the Communist Chinese director of Public Security for Hubei Province, after both his brother and mother were tortured to death by police. Numerous eyewitnesses confirmed that police beat Peng Liang's younger brother Peng Min on January 9 of that year, causing a fracture in his fifth vertebra and a compression bone fracture in his neck vertebra, resulting in complete paralysis. He died on April 6, 2001. Peng Liang's mother Li Yingxiu died in the same hospital on April 29, 2001. Her husband, the senior Peng, discovered numerous injuries on his wife's head and dried blood in her mouth while inspecting her body. The police told him the reason for Li Yingxiu's death was that she "talked too much" after her son's death.
Zhao Zhifei was the deputy director of the Hubei Province 610 Office, which was known for its brutality in killing practitioners, including incidents of practitioners killed from being dragged by a speeding motorcycle or burned alive.
The complaint charged Zhao with wrongful death, torture, crimes against humanity, and other gross violations of international human rights laws against Falun Dafa practitioners in his home province of Hubei. Zhao was served with the summons and a copy of the complaint last July in New York City, while traveling in the U.S.
The day after Zhao Zhifei was served, he boarded a plane for China and did not return to the U.S. United States District Court Judge Denise Cote entered a default judgment on December 21, 2001, against Zhao for his role in instigating and carrying out the persecution of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) practitioners in China. Also cited in the judgment was the arrest and missing plaintiff, Mr. Peng Liang, of this case. Mr. Peng's fate remains unknown. (See http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/12/24/17104.html.)
Clearwisdom.net has collected a large number of cases where Falun Gong practitioners across the country, despite severe persecution, have upheld the principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" in rationally claiming their legal rights endowed by Chinese law to seek justice and file lawsuits against the persecutors.
All practitioners in Qinhuangdao City have filed lawsuits with the city's Procuratorate and court, charging the Changli Brainwashing Center for abusing practitioners using all sorts of unlawful means. Practitioners in Xianning City, Hubei Province wrote letters to the Xianning City People's Congress and Procuratorate, bringing charges against Song Ruisheng and Du Zhixiang for their roles in persecuting practitioners. Song was the deputy director of the city's Wenquan District Police Department, and Du the director of the Political Security Section of the police department. Practitioner Huang Min, formerly deputy chief of the Chengdu City Town and Country Enterprises Administration Bureau, filed a lawsuit demanding the prosecution of lawless officials. Practitioner Gao Hongying from Bozhou City, Anhui Province, brought charges against personnel from the 610 Office. Practitioner Zhang Ziyang from Liaoning Province filed a lawsuit with the Fengcheng City Procuratorate against police officer Liu Gang in Baoshan Town. Practitioner Shi Jinhua from Hunan Province filed a lawsuit against officials at the Political Security Section of the Qidong County Police Department. Ms. Ning Shuyan from Majiadian Town in Donggang City, Liaoning Province filed criminal charges against Wang Zhaowu, head of the town's police station, and Zhang Fengbin, the deputy director. Practitioner Wu Wenying from Pucheng County in Fujian Province filed lawsuits at the provincial court and Procuratorate against the Pucheng County Police Department, the county court, and the Fujian Women's Prison for inhumane torture.
The above cases are only a few of the anti-persecution lawsuits filed nationwide by practitioners. Based on incomplete statistics, lawsuits have so far been filed in all provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions across China against Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Communist Party officials and members of the 610 Offices at various levels, directors of detention centers, labor camps, and brainwashing centers, and other officials directly involved in the persecution. Besides being part of practitioners' rational and peaceful actions against the persecution, these lawsuits and complaints have also forcefully shocked the evil and reduced the severity of the persecution.
2. Brave family members of practitioners
Besides practitioners, their family members are also part of the citizenry who have gone to legal channels to defy the persecution. They know best how much their loved ones have benefited from the practice of Falun Gong, and how much they have improved themselves while practicing "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." They especially understand how much they have suffered during the five years beginning July 20, 1999, from being separated from their families, forced to become homeless, and put through the agony of torture. Most of all, these relatives deserve the right to speak out on behalf of themselves and their loved ones by filing lawsuits against the responsible officials and to demand that justice be upheld.
Clearwisdom.net reported on November 8, 2004, that 241 Falun Gong practitioners' family members in China jointly signed a letter to the Ministry of Justice, the National People's Congress, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the Justice Department of Hunan Province, which presides over all the prefectural levels of the Procuratorate and Justice Department of Hunan Province. The purpose of the letter was to expose the cruel torture that their relatives had suffered at the hands of lawless guards headed by Zi Wei, the deputy director of the Chishan Prison in Yuanjiang City, Hunan Province. They firmly demanded that the authorities bring to justice the 41 officials responsible for the torture.
The letter listed detailed facts about the persecution that several practitioners had experienced at the Chishan Prison. It pointed out that the prison officers who participated in the persecution publicly beat the practitioners, used instruments of torture, and criticized and slandered practitioners in public meetings. The officers also forced practitioners to do hard labor, and if they could not finish the assigned work, policemen cruelly tortured them.
The names of the 41 officers responsible for the persecution were listed in the letter. It was pointed out at the end of the letter that these acts violated article 234 of the Criminal Law provisions, the crime of intentional injury; article 247, the crime of extorting confessions through torture; as well as article 397, the crime of abuse of power. They also violated the "Labor Law" and "Prison Law" and, as a result, the practitioners' families filed these lawsuits based on the law, requesting a swift investigation into these abuses, requesting the appropriate punishment of the perpetrators and immediate release of the victims. (See http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/11/26/54955.html.)
In addition, Clearwisdom.net reported on January 18, 2004: Officers from the Dehui City Police Department, the Luyuan District Police Department and the Changchun City Police Department arrested thirteen practitioners from Dehui City between September and November 2002 for practicing Falun Dafa and clarifying the truth. The practitioners were Sun Qian, Lin Hongfei, Zhang Wenfeng, Liu Baijun, Wei Guangxue, Zou Jibin, Jiang Wenbin, Jiang Chunxian, Jia Yunxia, Zhang Xiaoyan, Yang Jun, Hu Jie, and Liu Dianling. As of January 2004, they had been held in custody for fourteen months. In attempting to obtain their release, the families of these thirteen practitioners defied the lawless officials in upholding justice. They brought the truth about the persecution to the attention of local residents, exposed the evil, and helped thwart the persecution.
Every action by people with a sense of justice is significant and will be recorded in this extraordinary page in the history of humankind, when kindness defeats brutality and justice overcomes evil.
3. Lawyers who are brave enough to defend Falun Gong
People usually consider lawyers who have the courage to safeguard justice under pressure to be guardians of social justice. In persecuting Falun Gong, however, Jiang's regime has not only usurped state law and deprived practitioners of their lawful rights and interests, but also sentenced innocent practitioners to prison. According to news from China, since July 20, 1999, lawyers have been ordered not to accept any cases defending Falun Gong practitioners. Lawyers designated by the courts are simply going through the motions. They can only mount a defense "according to the pre-determined court's decision." The defendants are forbidden to appeal to a superior court. Otherwise, lawyers face suspension of both their license to practice law and their business license, and even possible detention. It has been reported that lawyers in some places are now permitted to accept cases related to Falun Gong practitioners, but, according to inside sources, it is only a facade. The real situation is said to be "tight inside and loose outside."
Even under these high-pressure policies, there are lawyers dedicated to the spirit of justice, who have fearlessly stepped forward to defend Falun Gong practitioners.
On December 31, 2004, Clearwisdom.net published an article by its reporter Chu Tianxing entitled, "Renowned Lawyer Meets Rejection When Seeking Justice for a Falun Gong Practitioner." Mr. Gao Zhisheng is one of ten lawyers who was honored by China's Ministry of Justice in 2001. He wrote a letter to Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People's Congress, regarding the abuses and violations of the law he encountered when filing an appeal on behalf of his client practitioner Mr. Huang Wei.
Mr. Gao stated in his letter that practitioner Huang Wei was sent to a forced labor camp twice without due process. In April 2004, Mr. Huang was arrested again and in June he was sentenced to forced labor, but he refused to sign the interrogation notes to acknowledge the criminal charges brought against him. Mr. Gao also revealed in his letter that local courts had received instructions from "higher authorities" not to take any cases filed by Falun Gong practitioners.
In his open letter, Mr. Gao Zhisheng stated with sorrow, "More discouraging is the fact that the perpetrators of this violation against the country's legal procedures are the very people responsible for safeguarding the country's execution of the law. The executors of the law regard brutal transgressions as a justified occurrence, and they no longer regard upholding the law as their responsibility. They personally set the example to constantly destroy justice and civilization, and the rights upon which power operates; whose needs are they serving?" (See http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2005/1/12/56486.html for more information.)
On January 9, 2005, the Epoch Times reported that Mr. Yang Zixin of the Zhongchi Law Firm in Guangxi highly praised Mr. Gao Zhisheng's filing of appeals on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. Yang wrote the following in the Epoch Times Forum in support of Attorney Gao Zhisheng's efforts to uphold the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners' human rights: "As attorneys, upholding law and justice is our sacred mission. Only evil is afraid of equitable law. Mr. Gao has spoken out for all of us, and he did something we haven't. I think, regardless of who you are and which area of the law you practice, there are rights to be safeguarded. The Communist Party cannot trample the law, while claiming that they are adhering to the Constitution." (See http://search.minghui.org/mh/articles/2005/1/9/93098.html for report in Chinese.)
In the past six years, Jiang's regime has continued to persecute Falun Gong practitioners by utilizing the law illegally. As a result, unjust verdicts are issued everywhere across the country. The social order has become so confusing that "people who abide by the law are detained and jailed, while people who violate the law are in control." Yet, Falun Gong practitioners all over the country and people of justice are not frightened by power or violence. They consistently carry on the legal battle in a peaceful way. We believe that more and more people will come to know the truth of Falun Gong and take the side of justice.
Those who dare to trample on the sanctity of the law will inevitably be punished severely by the law. Good people who uphold justice in the face of tribulations will not give up their pursuit of truth because of temporary slander and suppression. They will be respected and admired by the future generations.
January 23, 2005