(Clearwisdom.net) Mr. Stephen Woodward, Canadian Member of Parliament, recently commented on the court decisions in Argentina and Spain against Chinese Communist Party leaders Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan, the principal perpetrators of the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Mr. Woodward believes that the Spanish Court's indictment of Jiang and four of his followers for crimes of torture and genocide in the persecution of Falun Gong, and the Argentina Federal Court's issuing arrest warrants for Jiang and Luo Gan underscore the severity of the persecution. He believes that as a result of the court rulings, more and more people will take a stand against the persecution. "Justice will prevail," he said.
Canadian Member of Parliament Stephen Woodward
In November 2009, the Spanish National Court issued a court ruling indicting Chinese officials responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong. On December 17, 2009, Judge Octavio Araoz de Lamadrid of the Argentina Federal Court No. 9 made a historic decision, issuing arrest warrants for the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Jiang Zemin, and Luo Gan, former head of the 610 Office, for their role in the persecution of Falun Gong. The two high-ranking CCP officials were charged with crimes against humanity. Judge Lamadrid ordered the Interpol Department of the Federal Police of Argentina to carry out the arrest.
Regarding the court rulings, Mr. Woodward offered the following observations. "My approach has always been to try to encourage people toward 'just' solutions of existing problems. I understand that justice cries out for it, stop the persecution right now, and prevent it in the future.
"I don't really expect that a single judgment in Argentina will make any real difference to that, for I'm not sure what difference it will make to anyone who has hatred or persecution in their heart. Though I'm sure all around the world people should speak out against injustice and persecution, and maybe eventually if enough voices speak out against injustice and persecution, then perhaps those who commit those crimes will begin to listen.
"It is important to get the evidence out: a court judgment is only as useful or as valid as the evidence which supports it... We know this because for example, there are court trials in places like China where the evidence is all one-sided, and the people are not given an opportunity to present a full defense; so the judgments which result based on incomplete evidence are not reliable... So if a judge in Argentina hears reliable evidence with all of the guarantees that we enjoy in Canada, for example: the right for witnesses to be cross-examined, the right to hear directly from the persons affected, and not second or third-hand, if the proceedings in these courts have reliable evidence, then that's extremely important for people to hear.
"We in Canada encourage full participation and expression of everyone's ideas: we don't have to agree with everyone, but we should allow people to speak and to practice their beliefs.
"And in fact, there's an old Chinese metaphor which applies to this - it's the one where the Emperor is speaking to a subject, and he says "Bring me a stick"; and he takes the stick and he breaks it in two. And then he says "Bring me 10 sticks," and each stick is thin and weak in it, but 10 put together are impossible to break.
"That exemplifies the Canadian approach which is that we are stronger by reason of our own individual accomplishments; by ourselves we may be weak, but together we have strength! So our Canadian ideal is to encourage free speech: to encourage respect for one another and we believe that in that way, our society will be stronger because we will have the benefit of all these differences.
"Apart from that though, in Canada we strongly believe everyone is equal and deserving of a good life - everyone. And as long as you don't hurt others, you should be free to fulfill your life in the way that you wish to do so... As a Canadian, we definitely want to encourage governments around the world to adopt our notion that 'maximum freedom' is the best way, so that everyone can enjoy the fruit of our world.
"I'm sure there are people out there who are opposed to Truthfulness and Compassion and Forbearance, and whose intention would be to oppose those virtues. The important question is, "How do we prevent persecution" for whatever reason it may be... "Can I convince them to do the right thing?"
"Our government has struggled with this issue and I think you will know the government of Canada has taken a strong stand for human rights around the world, and that includes in China, and in fact our government took some criticism for that...
"When we come to deal with moral issues, we need to understand that morality is a matter of self-determination. So I would not participate in torture, I would not participate in persecution. And if I meet someone who does those things, I have to, as a good steward of my resources, I have to try to influence them as best I can to do good things rather than wicked things... But I have to also recognize that I cannot control them, and therefore I have to use my resources as wisely as I can to achieve the best results possible.
"There are many reports of the persecution of the Falun Dafa practitioners in China - we know generally that the Chinese government has often been accused of political and religious persecution, and I think we know enough about the history of that government to believe that. In this case, I think there's enough evidence to convince me that the Falun Dafa, Falun Gong are persecuted - I don't know all of the details, or to what degree, but persecution nonetheless. My initial first and strong reaction is to speak out against persecution - I think that it's important for me to speak out for human rights and against persecution.
"Therefore it is my desire to speak out as best I can, and to participate in a way that will offer comfort and encouragement to those who are persecuted - so when I received an invitation to participate in a Canada Falun Gong Friendship Group, it seemed to me a positive way that I could do that. I only have to express my support for human rights and for the positive things that I know about the Falun Dafa.
"In the end, as the Falun Gong would say, 'The truth will win!' So that is the hope that I was trying to leave in the quote that you read; that ultimately, in the end, people will eventually win through to the truth, and justice will prevail.
"Justice cannot exist without truth, just as peace cannot exist without justice; so you might say that peace itself depends upon truth. Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance, and justice... These are universal ideals: people all around the world, people from any religion, certainly Christians, have no problem, and should have no problem with Truthfulness-Compassion- Forbearance."
On October 1, 2009, Mr. Woodward, along with 17 other Canadian Parliament Members and two senators, set up the group, Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, whose purpose is to help members of Parliament and senators to know more about Falun Gong and help to stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China.