(Minghui.org) Thirty-three Falun Gong practitioners from Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province filed criminal complaints in China's highest courts against Jiang Zemin, the mastermind behind the persecution of Falun Gong, which began in July, 1999.

They accused Jiang of being directly responsible for the suffering they've endured in the persecution, including but not limited to imprisonment, loss of employment because of their belief, and extortion.

According to their complaints, Jiang's policies of destroying Falun Gong practitioners physically and counting their deaths as suicides are acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The complaints were filed in the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. China's highest courts are supposed to guarantee registration and processing of all complaints due to a new policy that took effect on May 1, 2015.

Ms. Wang Fengyi, one of the 33, was arrested in 2002 for her belief and illegally sentenced to eight years in prison in 2003. Authorities forced her husband to divorce her, and her daughter was discriminated against at school because her mother was a Falun Gong practitioner. Her father died shortly after learning that she was to be incarcerated. Her mother died on May 10, 2010, the day of her release.

Ms. Guo Suying was arrested four times and also imprisoned for eight years. While she was in Kaiping Forced Labor Camp between 2000 and 2002, a guard shocked her mouth with an electric baton and tied her to a tree in the snow.

Ms. Guo was sentenced to five years in prison in 2006. After being tortured at the Shijiazhuang Women's Prison, she coughed up blood and developed Hepatitis B and inflammation of her stomach.

Mr. An Liqing was sent to a forced labor camp for one and a half years, arrested five times, and forced to attend brainwashing sessions. He says he has lost more than 200,000 yuan ($32,000).

In the lawsuit, Ms. Bai Junjie claims she has lost over 280,000 yuan ($45,000), which includes funds extorted from her family and the illegal withholding of her daughter's salary. Since the persecution began, it has become common for local authorities to implicate family members for practitioners' beliefs.

The 33 practitioners filing the case are: Zhao Meilian, Wang Liping, Wang Xiuling, Shan Guoqin, Yao Guilian, Wang Deqing, Sun Yuming, Zhang Zhaozhen, Wang Fengyi, Huo Huiling, Fu Xiuqing, Yuan Yuzhen, Sun Fuxian, Ma Guiying, Wang Lihua, An Liqing, Xi Zhaojun, Bai Junjie, Guo Suying, Zhao Jianlin, Fang Shuhua, Wang Jinhua, Yan Guihua, Liu Yu'e, Liu Yuelian, Liu Zhanzhen, Bai Ronghua, Li Li, Zhang Xiufang, Ban Rucong, Zhao Chengren, Li Zhongmei, and Song Yonghua.


In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.

The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners over the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.

Under Jiang's personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the 610 Office. It's one of the main ways Jiang's directives are carried out in the persecution: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.

Chinese law allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are now exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.