Symbolic Public Tribunal Exposes Jiang Zemin and His "610 Offices" -- A Trial Against the Persecution of Falun Gong (Part 1)
(Clearwisdom.net August 4, 2003)
On the Morning of July 22, 2003, several thousand Falun Dafa practitioners from all over the world gathered in front of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and held a public tribunal exposing the warped factors behind the persecution of Falun Gong. What follows is the first of several parts of the script of the symbolic tribunal.
[Judges appear. Behind them are chairs with placards denoting the name of each Judge]
Bailiff - All rise for the members of the International Criminal Tribunal -- the Judge of the International Tribunal of Rwanda, the Judge for the trial of Pinochet, and the Judge for the trial of Milosevic. Please be seated. The Court shall now proceed.
Judge - In the case of the People of China versus Jiang Zemin, the people of China have charged Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin with, among other charges, conspiracy to destroy the spiritual practice of Falun Dafa, torture, abuse of authority, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Prosecutor, please be prepared to make your opening argument.
Prosecutor - Ladies and Gentleman, Honorable members of the Judicial Panel, members of the Press. I am here today on behalf of 100 million Chinese practitioners of Falun Dafa, their fellow practitioners overseas, their families, business associates, schoolmates, friends and neighbors. We are here to begin one of the most important criminal trials of the 21st century.
The scale and scope of this case is vast - spanning the landscape of Mainland China and every other country as well as the harm done to millions of people. And yet this is also a case about a personal vendetta, the distorted attempt of one man, and one man alone, to destroy a peaceful spiritual cultivation practice by abuse of his authority. One who hijacked the State mechanism.
Let us think for a moment, ladies and gentlemen, what it means to "destroy" a spiritual practice that has no houses of worship, no formal institutions, no coffers, no membership rosters - just millions of citizens of all ages and walks of life who study the teachings and practice simple exercises in the parks. To destroy Falun Gong, he must try to literally change the minds of those who believe in it, forcibly pluck out their core beliefs. Failing that, he must destroy the physical lives of the practitioners.
As you will see from this trial, Ladies and Gentlemen, Jiang's approach has been as calculated and systematic as it has been brutal. On June 10, 1999, he established what is called the "610 Office," an organization that he gave power to override China's constitution and all its laws and regulations. This organization, known as the "610 system," is a system that extends all the way down from the core of the Chinese power structure to the smallest local village This system specialized in persecuting Falun Gong and carrying out state-terrorist policies. It is a Chinese "Gestapo," if you will.
As for how to deal with Falun Gong practitioners, Jiang Zemin ordered his Gestapo to implement a three-pronged approach: to "smear their reputations, bankrupt them financially and destroy them physically."
It's no simple matter to ruin people's reputations. It helps, of course, when, as a dictator, Jiang owns the media, the security and police apparatus, as well as the judicial system. It means having reporters fabricate stories and demonizing the practice and all those associated with it 7 days a week on newspapers, radio stations, and TV. It means framing practitioners as worse than common criminals or even murderers. It means throwing them into mental hospitals create the stigma of mental illness and insanity. It means discrimination from every angle. Landlords won't dare to rent their apartment to your family anymore. Friends are suddenly no longer to be found, fearful of "trouble" or of being tainted. Husbands divorce their wives because of the pressure.
The matter of driving people to financial ruin in a totalitarian state where salaries and pensions are in the hands of Party officials is not so complicated. But the results are no less devastating. Practitioners fired from their jobs and students expelled from school for keeping their faith. Others made homeless because the police are waiting for them at their workplace and apartment. Nowhere to go, nothing to eat, nothing to wear in the freezing cold. Sometimes, in order to add insult to injury, families are forced to pay thousands of dollars to labor camps and brainwashing centers for "room and board."
As for the phrase to "destroy them physically," the 610 Office certainly took their orders to heart. More than 750 practitioners have been confirmed dead from this persecution, with actual estimates closer to 1,600. Their brazen use of violence comes from the top - Jiang personally sent down orders that "the death of Falun Gong practitioners from beating is nothing and shall be counted as suicide, and the body shall be directly cremated without investigation or identification." Imagine the despair and anger of a family who knows nothing of what happened to their loved one and has literally nowhere to turn. For the authorities to simply claim they have not killed a single practitioner - they were all supposedly suicides or death by natural causes is incomprehensible, immoral and the worst of the worst behaviors. And sometimes death can almost be a relief, if the alternative is unending torture and torment. Police guards burning the flesh, the mouth, the genitals with electric batons, hammering metal spikes under fingernails, whipping with spiked wooden sticks, beating with metal clubs, sexual humiliation and rape... the list goes on.
As you will see, Ladies and Gentlemen, this case is about a nationwide campaign of terror, a systematic and brutal effort to break the will of good people who seek to practice virtue, those who believe in Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.
It is a case about the machinations of one man who abused his authority as head of state, who violated the laws of his own country, who trampled the freedoms so clearly written into the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, a man who used his position as chief of the military to force an unwilling government, an unwilling Party, and an unwilling people to participate in some of the worst crimes of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is a case about forced-brainwashing, about the use of psychotropic drugs, about the use of torture devices to control the minds of the people. It is about the breakdown of civil and moral society and the rupture of ties among families, friends and co-workers. It is a case about the injustice, cruelty and jealousy of Jiang Zemin, who himself designed, created, and implemented a persecution unmatched in history.
This case is also about the spirit and courage of all practitioners of Falun Gong, and especially those in China who refused to renounce their spiritual beliefs in spite of the terrible price they knew they would have to pay - loss of liberty, loss of dignity, painful and unbearable torture and in many cases, death.
In the People of China versus Jiang, defendant Jiang has been formally charged with a violation of the most sacred norms, laws, and mores of civilized nations. The evidence is voluminous indeed, including the testimonial evidence of many of the victims of the Jiang regime's crimes, the written affidavits of other victims in China, the United States, Europe and Asia, such tangible evidence as models and pictures of the torture equipment utilized in detention centers, labor camps and mental hospitals.
It is not often in the affairs of man, that we find ourselves in the shadowy presence of true evil embodied in one being. It is even less often that such a man is brought to trial by the people of an entire nation. The defendant is charged by the people of China with crimes of such magnitude as to give us pause as we try to understand how such things could occur. How could a single man with the aid of perhaps two or three co-conspirators manage to abuse his power as head of state to violate the Chinese constitution, the criminal law, the civil law, and all ius cogens norms of international law, the law of nations, morality and the common good? Perhaps it has to do with a Communist system, a dictatorship that has used repression of thought as its way of remaining in power. Perhaps it has to do with its system of propaganda, economic and social leverage, and terror that has controlled a nation of people through an all pervasive fear, a nation of people who have lived under the repression of tyranny for so long that they think it's normal. And perhaps they have long given up trying to defend virtue and what is right and good. Of course we can only begin to answer such questions today. But in the search for answers in this historic case, I believe will come some wisdom, an appreciation of the principles, and the practitioners, of Falun Dafa, and, of course, a guilty verdict for the defendant.
Judges - Mr. Defense Counsel, you may now begin your opening statement.
Defense Counsel - Defense waives an opening statement your honors but reserves the right to present when the Prosecution rests.
Judges - Prosecutor, you may now call your first witness.
[#1 - Jiang's Personal Vendetta - Persecution Is Illegal and Unconstitutional]
Prosecutor - We now call General Zhao Zhonghua to the witness stand.
Bailiff - Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Zhao Zhonghua - I do.
Prosecutor - good afternoon General Zhao. Could you tell us your position in the PRC immediately prior to the persecution of Falun Gong?
Zhao Zhonghua - Let's say I was at the ministerial level and I also held posts with the Chinese Communist Party and military.
Prosecutor - What would you say was the general attitude of the Chinese government towards Falun Gong before the persecution began?
Zhao Zhonghua - At first you know, the government supported the practice of Falun Gong. It has clear and visible moral and health benefits and also good psychological benefits. The most prominent men in China positively endorsed the practice. At the time, not only was the general public learning Falun Gong, but seven of the Central Politburo members read Zhuan Falun and many of their relatives and friends were also practicing. Many high-ranking officials in the Communist Party, government and military either attended Mr. Li Hongzhi's lectures, or became Falun Gong practitioners through other channels.
Prosecutor - Excuse me. May I ask, who is Mr. Li Hongzhi?
Zhao Zhonghua - He's the founder of Falun Dafa.
Prosecutor - Thank you. Please continue.
Zhao Zhonghua -- Even I endorsed the practice. I found the practice made me calmer, a little steadier. But sitting in the double lotus position was a bit tough for me! The National Qigong Commission gave Falun Gong different awards and the reports about it in newspapers, television and radio broadcasts were positive.
Prosecutor - What happened on April 25th, 1999?
Zhao Zhonghua -- In the afternoon of April 25, I got a phone call that there were thousands of Falun Gong practitioners outside Zhongnanhai -- the main government compound. When I drove out there, I have to say, it was quite a sight. Ten thousand people, sitting and standing so peacefully, with such dignity, but not regimented like the military. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. These people made sure not to block traffic or pedestrians and when they left, there wasn't a scrap of litter on the ground. I know the international press reported on the gathering in a very favorable manner.
Prosecutor - What was this about? Why were these people there?
Zhao Zhonghua - I think basically some Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin had been illegally arrested for exercising their constitutional right of appeal, so other practitioners were going to Zhongnanhai to peacefully appeal their arrest. It makes sense -- the main Appeals Office is on one side of Zhongnanhai and that's where citizens are supposed to go when they have a problem with the government that can't be resolved at the local level. That night, Premier Zhu Rongji went and spoke with some representatives of the group. It was very calm and their requests were reasonable, so Zhu was able to agree to them and the whole thing could have been resolved right there and then.
Prosecutor --- So why wasn't it? What happened that changed things?
Zhao Zhonghua - Personally, I think Jiang was jealous of the way Zhu was able to handle things so well. Who knows what was going on in Jiang's petty little brain at that point?
Defense Attorney - Objection!
Judge - Sustained.
Zhao Zhonghua - Some say Jiang felt threatened by the ability of Falun Dafa practitioners to gather in such large numbers. After all, he's known to be incredibly insecure. Some say he was jealous of Mr. Li Hongzhi, too, because of the practitioners' obvious faith in Falun Gong and Mr. Li Hongzhi.
Defense Attorney - Move to strike! Speculation.
Prosecutor - Attempt to establish motive should be allowed, your honor.
Judge - Motion to strike denied. Prosecution may proceed.
Prosecutor - General Zhao, please continue with what you saw on April 25th, 1999.
Zhao Zhonghua -- A group of top officials were called to meet with Jiang that night and it was then that he shared with us his desire to completely eradicate, completely exterminate, Falun Gong. But because of the foolishness of the idea, from the beginning he received little support within the Party leadership and was also opposed by the more honest elements within the Party. By the way, the night of April 25, 1999, Premier Zhu persuaded Jiang on the Central Politburo urgent meeting Jiang hosted, "Let them (Falun Gong practitioners) practice," but he was criticized by Jiang in front of every one, and became silent.
Jiang became very angry and decided to copy what Chairman Mao did in his bid to start the Cultural Revolution - he wrote personal letters to high-ranking officials within the Politburo and other high-ranking officials, and forced them to pass the letter down to Communist Party officials of a certain rank from top to bottom.
So Jiang went ahead and had the "610 Office Head" Luo Gan arrest many practitioners between April 25 to July 20th of 1999, under conditions totally against the State Constitution and laws. It wasn't until October that year that Jiang Zemin went to France and for the first time openly defamed Falun Gong in person during an interview with the French "Figaro" newspaper, calling Falun Gong an "evil cult." This is absolutely ridiculous! Later in October Jiang Zemin had the People's Daily, the state-run newspaper in China, describe Falun Gong as a cult. You know, for someone who's usually so incompetent, that was actually a pretty clever move on his part. He knew a label like that is hard to shake. Then, months after he'd already illegally arrested practitioners, he forced the People's Congress to retroactively legitimize their arrest by having them unlawfully pass an "Anti-Cult Law."
Prosecutor - I'm not sure I understand. You're saying Jiang first started the persecution, then he started calling Falun Gong a cult, and then he got an anti-cult law passed as a way to try to justify his actions?
Zhao Zhonghua - Yes. You know, it's like that joke where someone's at the shooting range and shoots his gun at a target, then he runs up to the target and draws the circles around his bullet to show he'd hit a bull's eye. Jiang knew that persecuting Falun Gong was illegal and unconstitutional from the start. Jiang also knew he never could have passed a law outlawing Falun Gong, nor could he have convinced people then that Falun Gong was bad, so he did the next best thing. He had an "anti-cult law" passed that was vague and had no parameters, and it never even defined what it means to be a "cult." No matter what, we all knew Falun Gong was not a cult. Most government officials didn't want to participate in the persecution, but few felt free to speak openly. I tried suggesting that we reconsider the campaign, but I was placed under house arrest. But there were many ways in which many high-level officials quietly tried to turn the situation around.
Prosecutor - People who come from free nations might ask: "Since this is just something Jiang wants to do of his own personal accord and it's wrong, then why doesn't the entire government and machinery of the state oppose it? Why do they systematically go forward and implement it?"
Zhao Zhonghua - It's about power, really. The truth is, the Chinese government has never had a stable, rational, enduring policy. All of its policies are closely linked to the personal will of the highest holder of power. In the history of the CCP's rule, it's always been "Power comes from the barrel of a gun." Jiang Zemin used this malady that has harmed Chinese society for several decades, and gave it full play to achieve his goal.
The Chinese government's governing principle is supposed to be "to serve the people." But of course Jiang serves himself by using his tremendous Party, administrative, and military power to essentially hijack the government of China. In a situation where nobody dares to say 'no,' when a dictator holding the military power can recklessly rape the will of the people and rape the law, I don't know if I would call it a "national policy." It's probably more accurate just to say the persecution against Falun Gong was "the individual will of a dictator."
Prosecutor - Thank you, General Zhou. I have no further questions.
Defense Attorney - I have no questions for this witness.
(To be continued)
Editors' Note: The persecution of Falun Gong has been going on for four years, having begun officially on July 20, 1999. Jiang Zemin continues to abuse his power and impose his personal will on the Chinese people. In order to persecute Falun Gong, he set up the illegal "610 Office" to systematically create and spread lies in attempts to demonize Falun Gong. Jiang and his "610 Office" have committed huge crimes, yet they have used all means at their disposal to cover the truth of their misdeeds from the public. As a result, the people have had great difficulty recognizing the nature, depth and breadth of the persecution of Falun Gong. The stories in this Tribunal article are all based on facts and actual events that have taken place. Some are true stories while others are compilations of different people's experiences. When the Tribunal is performed in public, the witnesses are played by practitioners who speak fluent English. In order to clarify the truth of the persecution in a more comprehensive manner, the script of the Tribunal will be modified periodically. We ask readers who plan to use the script to please pay attention to these updates.