Falun Gong practitioners in Germany Will Sue Jiang Zemin Under German International Criminal Law
(Clearwisdom.net, September 1, 2003) Shortly after Belgian Falun Gong practitioners filed a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin for crimes of torture, crimes against humanity and genocide, the former Chinese leader, who is directly responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong, will face a similar lawsuit in Germany.
According to the German Falun Dafa Information Centre, the German Falun Dafa Association and German practitioners plan to file a criminal lawsuit against Jiang Zemin for genocide and crimes against humanity. The lawsuit will be filed under German International Criminal Codes brought into effect on June 26th, 2002. Because genocide is an extremely serious crime, generally this kind of criminal lawsuit is filed with the Federal Prosecutor in Karlsruhe Germany.
The legal basis: the German International Criminal Code
The German International Criminal Code, brought into effect last year, specifically targets genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Before the International Criminal Code was brought into effect, the three crimes were already regulated in the German National Criminal Code. The major difference between the International Criminal Code and National Criminal Code lies in the fact that the International Criminal Code assures the principle of universal jurisdiction that can be applied to the three kinds of crimes. As a result, the three kinds of crimes are within the jurisdiction of German courts regardless of the location of the crimes, or the nationality of the victims.
Germany's Falun Dafa spokesperson told a reporter that "the new law offers a powerful legal basis for Falun Gong practitioners to sue Jiang Zemin for his crimes. In accordance with the German International Criminal Code, all Falun Gong practitioners who were killed or subjected to torture, mental and sexual persecution could become evidence in this lawsuit. According to our sources, the United Nations and human rights organizations have already recorded and made public many similar cases."
The defendant will be charged with genocide and crimes against humanity
Falun Gong practitioners stated that the persecution of Falun Gong by Jiang Zemin aimed to thoroughly destroy Falun Gong. On June 10th 1999, Jiang ordered the setting up of the 610 Office. The 610 Office is systematically organized, directly under Jiang's orders, with unlimited power and above the control of the constitution and all of China's laws. Jiang issued a directive to "ruin Falun Gong practitioners' reputation, devastate them financially and physically destroy them" and he ordered that all practitioners beaten to death are regarded as suicide cases, the dead bodies being cremated immediately without checking their identities. This directive was carried out primarily by the 610 Office. Therefore, many Falun Gong practitioners were tortured, some to death. Falun Gong practitioners think that this widespread and systematic persecution directed against Falun Gong fulfils the required criteria stipulated by the German International Criminal Code.
Article 6 of the German International Criminal Codes states that, genocide is defined as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of a group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of a group;
- Deliberately inflicting on a group, conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
Article 7 defines crimes against humanity as any of the following acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population:
- Deliberately inflicting on the civilian population in this area conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part;
- Torturing those who are imprisoned or under his control by other means, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Sexual slavery, rape, enforced sterilization, and so on;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to others;
- Severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
- Persecution against any identifiable group or collective by means of deprivation of or serious limitation of basic human rights.
Similar lawsuits in different countries are a matter of concern for the international community
Recently, overseas Falun Gong practitioners in different countries have launched lawsuits against Jiang Zemin for genocide. Western countries are expressing their concern over the lawsuits, and the media are reporting on them.
In October 2002, Falun Gong practitioners first submitted a lawsuit to the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, accusing Jiang Zemin of genocide, crimes of torture, and crimes against humanity.
In March 2003, Falun Gong practitioners in Switzerland stated that they would also sue Jiang Zemin. In the last two months, Falun Gong practitioners in Britain, Australia, and Canada successively announced that they plan to file a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin. The most noticeable lawsuit is the Belgian criminal lawsuit filed by six Falun Gong practitioners, one of them a Belgian civilian, with the help of a renowned human rights lawyer.
If German Falun Gong practitioners officially file a criminal lawsuit against Jiang Zemin, this will be Jiang's second experience as a defendant in Germany. In April 2002, during Jiang's visit to Germany, German human rights organization "The Society for Threatened People" sued Jiang for crimes against humanity and crimes of torture. Because at that time Jiang, as a head of state, had the privilege of diplomatic immunity, the lawsuit was dropped. Since March of this year, Jiang is no longer officially considered the head of China.