By Peter Müller, Far East Desk, International Society for Human Rights (IGFM), Germany

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a Human Rights Fighter it is my duty to inform you about the cruel, ugly, and inexcusable treatment which the People's Republic of China ("PRC") exercises against many of its own people, against the Falun Gong, the Uighurs, the Tibetans, and many different religious groups. These people are -- it can fairly be said - terrorized by their own national government.

It must be said again and again:

The People's Republic of China exercises brutal state terrorism against many of its own people

We normally think of terrorists as a group of individuals who use violent methods to terrorize a state into submitting to their demands. State terrorism is when a whole nation's resources are harnessed to terrorize its individuals into submitting to the will of the ruling party or leader. This is standard dictatorial and especially Communist practice, not only in China. The description fits the brutal persecution exceptionally well which the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin unleashed against Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Falun Gong, Falun Dafa as it also known, is a practice of meditation and exercises to the personal well being of the individual practitioner. A very private affair indeed. The guiding principles are Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance -- to me as a non-practitioner this is an admirably peaceful motto. Falun Dafa went public in 1992, and their popularity increased rapidly. In 1999, the Chinese government officially estimated the number of practitioners to be at least 70 million in China alone.

Falun Gong's fast growing popularity -- together with its ability to suddenly appear in public in great numbers - aroused the suspicion and jealousy of Jiang Zemin. He noticed the inner strength of Falun Gong practitioners and feared they were immune against the propaganda of the Communist Party. Consequently he ordered the elimination of Falun Gong. State terrorism against Falun Gong started immediately.

The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is systematic, wide-scale, and brutal. The PRC uses all means of state power and force, be it physiological or psychological, usually both together. Once a person is known as a practitioner there is no pardon or escape.

The architect and motor of this terror campaign is the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin. The great man himself formulated the policy of "extinguishing the Falun Gong" and put the notorious -- very much Gestapo- and Stasi-like - "Office 6-10" into operation. It uses a three-prong tactic consisting of

Violence - High-pressure propaganda -- Brainwashing

Here are Jiang Zemin's directive for "Office 6-10":

  1. Destroy Falun Gong practitioners physically through systematic, forced-labor, torture, starvation, attrition by forcible reduction of sleep, no medical treatment, and direct killings. Include mental torture through widespread usage of brainwashing, forced conversion, pressure of relatives and friends, and incarceration in mental hospitals topped by the use of nerve-damaging drugs.
  2. Destroy Falun Gong's reputation by means of a worldwide media campaign in order to demonize Falun Gong and falsely depict its practitioners as dangerous 'cult' members and a menace to society.
  3. Destroy Falun Gong practitioners financially and socially by denying employment and housing, salaries and pensions, in addition to widespread extortion, confiscation of property and state-enforced fines when detained by police. Quite often relatives and friends of practitioners are also threatened if not punished.

By issuing these orders, Jiang Zemin put himself above the law, above all constitutional and legal jurisdiction --but then, above the law he was anyway [...]. The retrospective introduction of an "anti-heretical" law to justify the banning of Falun Dafa in October 1999 was only fodder for the blind. But it was also a very clever move by Jiang Zemin because he thus tightened the already melting grip of the Communist Party over the whole nation -- or at least he tried to. There are sufficient signs now that it may not last.

For the moment no method is considered too extreme or barbaric in achieving Jiang's goal of eliminating Falun Gong. In addition Jiang Zemin has corrupted the whole nation by forcing people to betray their own family members, friends, and colleagues to save themselves from the fate of the Falun Gong. The threat of being sent into one of the many forced labor camps is daily reality and enough to make most people succumb. Almost everybody is thus corrupted. The old methods still work and have the usual willing helpers, civil servants, judges (if they are involved at all), the police, security forces, labor camp wardens, the military, Trade Unions, business, and above all and as always the Communist Party and its affiliate organizations. Even other labor camp inmates are used to torment Falun Gong people in the camps. We are now awaiting confirmation that Falun Gong practitioners have been killed just because their organs were wanted by the Organ Trade.

Jiang Zemin's terrorist methods are no longer confined to China. In Sweden, the Chinese Embassy recently tried to pressure a local radio station into stopping their Falun Gong broadcasts. I do not recall similar incidents in Germany, but it was bad enough to see how fast our civil servants changed into servile servants during Jiang Zemin's state visit two years ago - despite our experiences with such despicable German figureheads like Kaiser Willy-Nilly, Hitler, Ulbricht, and Honecker.

In summary: Every day the PRC commits an enormous number of Crimes against Humanity plus Genocide against the Tibetans, the Uighurs. [...]But can we also speak of genocide in the case of the Falun Gong?

Human rights people will readily agree because the PRC's terror against the Falun Gong seems to fit the conditions of Article 6 of the ICC resp. Rome Statute perfectly. There it says, "Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such

  1. Killing members of the group
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

A look at some of the definition also supports this view:

Causing serious bodily or mental harm includes inflicting trauma on members of the group through widespread torture, rape, sexual violence, forced or coerced use of drugs, and mutilation.

Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group's physical survival, such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services. Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.

The Rome Statute protects four groups - national, ethnical, racial or religious groups. Does Falun Gong fit into the definition of " A Religious group is a set of individuals whose identity is defined by common religious creeds, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or rituals"? It ought to.


Anyway, the prosecution of Jiang Zemin is a severe test for international law because he is well hidden behind the Chinese Government, because the full scales of his crimes are difficult to uncover and even more difficult to prove, and - worst of all - he is well protected by the fact that the PRC has not signed the Rome Statute of the ICC.

But we have to bring this perpetrator and his helpers to justice. More than a dozen lawsuits have already been issued in countries around the world against Jiang Zemin and his accomplices for crimes against humanity, torture and genocide. In Belgium, the lawsuit was led by the well-known human rights attorney Georges-Henri Beauthier who has said that "the terror of genocide committed by Jiang lies not only in the fact that practitioners were killed, but also beliefs were destroyed. Such acts of terror should not exist in modern society. Such acts must be punished according to law."

The recent progress made internationally in bringing dictators and their accomplices to justice for perpetrating hideous crimes against human beings, is encouraging and we hope to add Jiang Zemin to this list soon.

It is therefore imperative that the international community always speaks out clearly against the crimes committed against Falun Gong practitioners by Jiang Zemin and others. It is this very exposure that dictators fear most, and it is this very exposure that can help to stop the genocide and save lives. In other words, no government, the least the Chinese Communist dictators, like to lose face in public. We must make sure they do. Publicity is our most effective tool.

IGFM will therefore say it again and again:

The People's Republic of China exercises brutal state terrorism against many of its own people