Practitioner Plaintiffs in US Seek Default Judgment in Lawsuit against Chinese Ministry of Public Security, National Security Bureau and Chinese Central TV (Photo)
Photo Caption: On April 3, 2002, Falun Gong practitioners gathered near the Justice building in Washington D.C. to hold a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of National Security and Chinese Central TV Network--all under the Jiang group's control.
More than 50 practitioners filed the lawsuit in April 2002 in Washington DC. Due to the Chinese Communist regime's refusal to accept the service of the papers, the lawsuit was delayed more than three years. Recently the US State Department helped the plaintiffs to complete the procedure of serving the papers, giving the lawsuit a breakthrough. Currently the plaintiffs are seeking a default judgement.
Suing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its Crimes in the US
The practitioners claim that some of them were beaten, their apartments were broken into, their cars were set on fire, and their phone conversations were tapped and put on their home answering machines.
Mr. Martin F. McMahon, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said, "We tried to serve the papers in Chinese to the PRC, but the PRC sent the papers back. These are our court papers. We did everything correctly under the Hague Convention: the court papers were in mandarin, and we sent them to Beijing. The Department of Justice in Beijing is supposed to serve these papers on these people in various Chinese ministries that we have sued. They refused to do so and sent the papers back. Five times they refused to accept the service of the papers."
CCP Refuses the Service of the Papers, US State Department Delivers the Papers
Attorney McMahon said, "After the CCP's refusal to accept the papers five times, we finally went to the State Department. In May of this year, the State Department asked William S. Laidlaw, the ambassador of US Embassy in Beijing, to go to the Chinese Foreign Ministry and deliver the court papers. Now they have to deal with the lawsuit, because the state department has actually served them properly. It is a breakthrough."
"So our next step will be to file a motion in default against these Chinese ministries, because we have proof from the State Department. We will show the judge in this case that these people have actually been served with these papers."
CCP Responds Oddly to Delay the Lawsuit
Attorney McMahon said that the CCP is evading and delaying the lawsuit. As a signatory country of the Hague Convention, the Chinese government should conform to the convention, accept the service of the paper, appear in court and have a lawyer file a response to the lawsuit. If they think that the lawsuit is not appropriate, they can file what is called "a motion to intervene." They did not select this option.
Another lawyer, Jason Dzubow, said that CCP's acts do not adhere to the international convention. "Instead of simply accepting the complaint when we sent it to them, they pretended that they never had it. Instead, they went to the Department of Justice, they went to the US State Department, and they asked those organizations to have the lawsuit dismissed. That, as Mr. McMahon mentioned, demonstrates a real disrespect for the American judicial system. The purpose of the judicial system is to resolve disputes between parties. You cannot go to another agency of the US government, which is an independent agency, and have them dismiss a lawsuit. That's not how the American system works. The court of law is independent from the Department of Justice and the US Department of State. Those organizations can't make the lawsuit go away. This has caused a lot of delay."
Attorney McMahon said that even after the State Department delivered the court papers, the CCP still tried to avoid the reality of the lawsuit. The ministries of the Chinese government should respond within 60 days, but the China Society of Private International Law at Wuhan University mailed a document to the attorney. There is no signature of an American attorney on the document, thus it is invalid.
Plaintiffs Harassed, Attorney Writes to Attorney General Twice
Attorney McMahon said that in February of this year, there was a massive telephone harassment campaign and it affected people in eight different states here in America and twenty two different countries. It was criminal conduct here in America. The attorney believed it was initiated by the Chinese government.
Attorney McMahon said, "During that criminal conduct, they targeted Falun Gong practitioners, and they targeted people who are in the lawsuit, which is also against the law. We sent a comprehensive package to the attorney general of the United States, Mr. Gonzalez, and demanded that he launch an investigation about this."
On June 29, Mr. Mitch Gerber, a student of business and international relations at Georgia State University received a call from Beijing "We know where you are and who you are. If you don't give up what you are doing, we will kill more practitioners and come after you!" Another Falun Gong practitioner living in Massachusetts received a death threat call near the end of June.
Attorney McMahon sent another letter to the attorney general of the United States on July 6 and urged him to take action to investigate this criminal conduct. The assistance of the US Congress was also enlisted.
Evidence of Spying Exposed by Former Chinese Diplomat Chen Yonglin Verifies the Plaintiffs' Allegations
Attorney McMahon said, "In our lawsuit we have alleged there are various agents, spies-- whatever you want to call them--who are attached to the embassies and consulates here in America. They've been doing things like threatening a hotel with bombing, setting a car on fire in Chicago, breaking into people's apartments in New York City to get databases as to who the practitioners are--these kinds of activities. We are alleging that it was orchestrated by embassies and consulates, because there are a lot of agents and spies here in America."
Mr. Chen Yonglin, a former Chinese diplomat who defected from the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, testified before the US Congress on July 21 that the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong is systemic and all governmental organizations are required to participate, especially the Ministry of Public Security, National Security Bureau and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To control one practitioner, the CCP spends over $18,000. Cases of practitioners being tortured to death are seen frequently in the CCP's internal documents that show the deaths were not suicides, but were due to police brutality.
Mr. Chen disclosed that overseas Chinese consulates and embassies set up a "Special group to handle Falun Gong affairs" to participate in the persecution. Through many channels, they attack Falun Gong practitioners living overseas. Their means include putting up anti-Falun Gong propaganda posters in consulates and embassies, distributing anti-Falun Gong literature to governmental officials, libraries, schools and people coming to the consulates or embassies for business, buying local cable TV channels to broadcast anti-Falun Gong programs, instigating overseas Chinese organizations, students and Chinese-run companies to slander Falun Gong, and through economic benefits, put pressure on local governments about the Falun Gong issue.
Mr. Chen was the First Secretary for Political Affairs at the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney, Australia. During his testimony before Congress, he warned that there are over 1,000 Chinese secret agents and informants in Australia who are mainly involved in monitoring Falun Gong practitioners, and there should be no less than this in the U.S. Attorney McMahon said the testimony was positive because this was the main component of the case. In other words, what the CCP is doing in Australia is exactly what they have been doing over here in America. This was the first time a Chinese official admitted that there are agents and spies in a particular country, and that their job is to monitor Falun Gong.
Lawyer: "You cannot do that. This is America."
When asked about why he represents Falun Gong practitioners in the lawsuit, attorney McMahon said, "It's probably because of my Irish roots. When the practitioners first approached me about this case, I asked for proof that they had their apartments broken into three times. And three police reports were given to me. I asked for proof that somebody was beaten up in San Francisco, and they gave me the police report and hospital report. I asked for proof that somebody's phone conversation was taped. I came to believe that Falun Gong practitioners actually are being attacked, but some people still may not believe it. But when you see the lawsuit, we had 105 separate incidents occurring in eight different cities. And there has to be someone behind it. So I always try to represent the underdog if you will because of my Irish roots. And it was quite an intellectual challenge too."
The other lawyer, Jason, has a Jewish heritage. He said that he knew Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted because of their beliefs: "During World War II there was the holocaust and millions of people were murdered. I feel like this is a similar type of activity. The government of China is deliberately murdering people for no reason other than their beliefs. And that's something I feel very proud to be able to help fight against in a small way"
Attorney McMahon said that the case is not against China. Someone must stand up to say to the criminals persecuting good people, "You cannot do that. This is America." We have a responsibility to protect American law, and citizens' and residents' rights entitled by the constitution.
Lawyers Call on American People to Learn the Truth
Lawyer Jason said with the progress of the case being filed, more and more people will pay attention. "American citizens will start to learn about this, and I think they'll be angry to see that a foreign government has the audacity to spy on American citizens, to harm American citizens, to threaten American citizens in their home country because of their beliefs or their expressing their points of view." Just as when he started working on the lawsuit and learned about the persecution, he was shocked.
Jason said, "I think there's a basic misunderstanding among American people about who the Falun Gong practitioners are. And part of the reason for that is because the Chinese government has been very effective its propaganda campaign slandering Falun Gong." So far more than 2700 practitioners have been tortured to death in China. Tens of thousands of practitioners are imprisoned in prisons, labor camps and mental hospitals. Many children have been orphaned as their parents were persecuted to death. The lawsuit plays a role in spreading the facts and it is very important for the American people to learn the truth.
Jason believes that the lawsuit not only defends Falun Gong practitioners in the U.S. but also brings attention to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.