(Clearwisdom.net) On Monday, April 14, 2003, the plaintiffs' attorney will respond to issues posed at the preliminary hearing on January 13, 2003, in order to assure that the statements conform to standards required by the state of Illinois.

During Jiang's visit to the United States in October 2002, Falun Gong practitioners and their families filed a lawsuit against him in the Northern District Court of Illinois for genocide and other crimes. At noon on January 13, 2003, a scheduling conference and notice of motion hearing was held in that court, representing the court and the attorney for the plaintiffs. With close attention and support from Dafa practitioners, the conference concluded smoothly. The deadline for the plaintiffs' attorney to reply to issues posed at the preliminary hearing of January 13, 2003 is April 15, 2003. Terri Marsh, attorney for the plaintiffs, will conduct depositions and interrogatories with the local counsel from Chicago on Monday, April 14, one day before the deadline.

Jiang and the "610 Office" are charged with genocide as well as conspiring to deprive a number of individuals in the United States of their civil rights. In conjunction with and in support of the campaign of repression against the Falun Gong in China, the defendants extended their efforts to persecute and intimidate Falun Gong practitioners here in the United States, in violation of 42, U.S.C. 1985.

Falun Gong practitioners have started sending forth righteous thoughts regarding this case and will continue to do so until April 15.

According to the plaintiffs' attorney, the purpose of this lawsuit is to remind the world through the U.S. legal system that genocide is taking place in China, and at the same time to encourage more people to help end this persecution. This lawsuit is a Class Action; the defendants are Jiang Zemin, former president of China, who stepped down in March 2003, and the "610 Office." The plaintiffs are persons who have suffered inhuman torture at the hands of Jiang's underlings and enforcers from the "610 Office." These people suffered because of their belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. It also includes those who are on Jiang's blacklist because they practice Falun Gong.

The "610 Office" is an organization that was founded by Jiang and specializes in the persecution and brutal torture of Falun Gong practitioners who persist in their belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.

After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, Jiang's group has used a policy of "defaming their reputation, bankrupting them financially, destroying them physically," and has systematically used the state media including TV stations, radio stations and newspapers to create large amounts of slander and vicious attacks against Falun Gong. Governmental entities are depriving people of their financial interests and using implication to intimidate people in the country to "express their opinion" on Falun Gong and participate in this persecution. Jiang's group is continuing its large-scale propaganda campaign to create and instigate fear and hatred against Falun Gong in China and the international society. During the three years of persecution, internal policies such as "no law regulates the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners," and "death of Falun Gong practitioners from beating is nothing and shall be counted as suicide; the body shall be directly cremated," have become common knowledge among the police, the legal systems and related government officials in China.

In order to eliminate Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners as a group, Jiang's regime has used iron-fisted dictatorial methods to force the Party, political and military bodies, the police, government enterprises, the media, schools, research institutions, street committees and even foreign investment companies, to cooperate with their persecution, in order to remove Falun Gong practitioners from society. As the result of the persecution, countless families have been broken up. Practitioners have been forced to leave home to avoid illegal arrest, and many practitioners have been illegally sent to detention centers, mental hospitals, forced labor camps and prisons, where they are brutally tortured, physically and mentally, and forced to perform heavy labor. The practitioners were often subjected to terrible living conditions.

The Jiang regime is using all available methods in an attempt to force the practitioners to give up their belief in Falun Gong. They have emphasized "reforming" Falun Gong practitioners' minds, sending the most determined practitioners to brainwashing classes. The purpose of this so-called "reform" is to destroy the belief itself.

Brutal tortures enacted by the police that are often seen in the persecution reports include subjecting Falun Gong practitioners to electric shocks, the "Tiger Bench*," water dungeons, long-term sleep deprivation, branding and burning, exposure to harsh conditions such as extreme heat and cold, heavy physical labor, hammering bamboo splinters into practitioners' fingers, physical abuse of the practitioners' private areas, forced abortions, hanging practitioners up for long periods of time, throwing practitioners into cages and other forms of torture. Furthermore, the Jiang regime has sent large numbers of perfectly healthy practitioners to mental hospitals, injecting them with mind-altering drugs and causing severe psychological damage. Many of these brutal tortures were used on women, the elderly and juveniles.

In so doing, the Jiang's regime has exhausted huge resources in terms of money and manpower, and spared no means to strictly block information both inside and outside of China. While doing everything possible to keep information about the persecution from being exposed, the Jiang's regime is putting up a facade to deceive the public about China's human rights situation. The regime has intensified its efforts to discredit, arrest, torture, and imprison those Falun Gong practitioners who have courageously exposed and publicized the truth about the persecution.

As defined by the Convention Against Genocide, "genocide includes, but is not limited to, the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group's conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." No one, including heads of state, is exempt from the law if he has committed those acts that constitute genocide.

On March 20, 2003, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) issued a statement in the Canadian Parliament to disclose to the Canadian government and media how the Jiang's regime has expended one quarter of the country's financial resources to persecute Falun Gong, "This funding comes from diverting foreign investments and Chinese citizens' earnings, as well as from the illegal fines forcibly imposed upon Falun Gong practitioners and their family members and work units. A great deal of funding has been allocated across the nation of China to public security, national security, the criminal "610 Office" and the foreign affairs department. The sustained defamation campaign and information blockade have consumed a great deal of the country's financial resources. Enormous amounts of investments have been made to attack Falun Gong overseas. This has created tremendous pressure on the livelihoods of people throughout China and brought grave consequences to the nation's economic development."

This statement also lists some examples that show how Jiang and his group have exhausted a great deal of funding to expand labor camps, build brainwashing centers and encourage people to participate in the persecution against Falun Gong. According to reports, in December 2001 Jiang allocated a lump sum of 4.2 billion Yuan to build brainwashing centers aimed at "reforming" Falun Gong practitioners. A lump sum of 50,000 Yuan was awarded to Su Jing, director of the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, while deputy director Shao of the same labor camp, was awarded a lump sum of 30,000 Yuan. In many areas, rewards for catching one Falun Gong practitioner range from thousands to tens of thousands of Yuan. On July 4, 2001, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that "close to half of those held in China's labor camps were Falun Gong practitioners." In order to contain the ever-increasing number of Falun Gong practitioners who went to appeal, large amounts of funding were used to expand these labor camp facilities. For instance, the total cost of relocating Yangquan City Forced Labor Camp in Shanxi Province was 19.37 million Yuan.

Jiang and his group also made enormous amounts of investments to attack Falun Gong overseas. In order to prevent overseas Falun Gong practitioners from spreading the truth, large numbers of Chinese agents were sent around the globe to monitor, interfere with and slander overseas Falun Gong practitioners and to collect information for a blacklist. There is also a heavy investment in controlling the overseas Chinese media to attack Falun Gong. Exhibits slandering Falun Gong have been held in Chinese Embassies and Consulates in at least 15 countries.

*Tiger Bench: Practitioners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall with their knees tied together. With their hands tied behind their backs or sometimes placed on their knees, they are forced to sit straight up and look straight ahead. They are not allowed to turn their heads, close their eyes, talk to anyone or move at all. Several inmates are assigned to watch over the practitioners and force them to remain motionless while sitting on the bench. Usually some hard objects are inserted underneath the practitioners' lower legs or ankles to make it harder for them to tolerate this abuse (see illustration here )