Zhao Zhizhen Case Heard in Court, Plaintiffs Urge that Zhao Be Held Accountable for Inciting Torture
(Clearwisdom.net) On September 22, 2005, a hearing for the lawsuit filed by Falun Gong practitioners against Zhao Zhizhen, head of the Wuhan TV Station in China, was held in a federal court in Hartford, Connecticut. Falun Gong practitioners have accused Zhao Zhizhen of inciting and assisting criminal acts and plotting and instigating torture and genocide against Falun Gong practitioners in China.
According to a report from AP on September 22, Zhao Zhizhen, who operates a TV station in Wuhan, China, is being sued under the Alien Tort Statute, a 215-year-old law that allows foreigners to be sued in the U.S. over human rights abuses committed anywhere.
He was served with the lawsuit last year, while in Connecticut for his daughter's graduation from Yale. He has since returned to China.
According to the report, Dr. Terri Marsh, an attorney for the Falun Gong practitioners, compared Zhao to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. She said he was responsible for programming on both state-run television and the Internet that called for the eradication of Falun Gong.
Dr. Marsh said the Chinese people were shown programs on state-run TV that portray members of the group as ax murderers. She said Zhao also helped create a Web site that includes calls for the Chinese people to shoot Falun Gong members and "beat them like road rats."
"We are not condemning speech in this case," she said. "We are condemning speech that is intricately linked to a campaign to incite persecution, a campaign of torture."
The report said that more than 250 people, mostly Falun Gong practitioners and supporters, packed the courtroom Thursday.
The report said, outside, plaintiff Chen Gang, 34, said a movie made by Zhao was shown over and over inside the labor camp where he was sent in 2000 for being a practitioner of Falun Gong. He said that type of propaganda led to beatings and other torture.
"Before the suppression started, the media comes out and says these guys are bad," Chen said. "That gives them the excuse. Some crimes are hidden. If you give someone the knife and say, 'That guy is bad,' it makes what happens worse."
The report quoted Dr. Marsh, who said the group is not interested in monetary damages but wants to see Chinese officials held publicly accountable for the suffering of Falun Gong practitioners.
"What we really want is for these abuses to stop," she said.