(Clearwisdom.net September 17th) On September 12, 2003, a Chicago Federal Court Judge decided to grant sovereign immunity to former Chinese president Jiang Zemin in the case filed against him by Falun Gong practitioners. Regarding this, the plaintiff's attorney, Dr. Terri Marsh and representatives of Falun Gong practitioners, held a press conference on September 15, at the National Press Club in Washington DC, stating that they are planning to file a Motion for Reconsideration (to the District Court) and an Appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Plaintiff's attorney Ms. Terri Marsh Dr. Sen Nieh

Dr, Terri Marsh noted that the Judge did not address in "his ruling, and conspicuous in its absence was any mention of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article IV, which exempts perpetrators of genocide from immunity irrespective of their official stature. "Nor did the Judge mention, much less address, the Convention Against Torture, Article 2(3), which according to the Pinochet case, exempts torturers from immunity irrespective of their stature. Finally, the Judge made no mention of the Pinochet case iself, although the Pinochet court clearly held that the former ruler of Chile did not have immunity for crimes as serious as torture committed against his own citizens while he served as Head-of-State."

The judicial proceedings in the US include three-levels of courts, after the verdict of the district court, one can appeal to the upper court, and finally to the supreme court.

Washington Area Falun Gong spokesperson Dr. Nie Sen said, "(to Judge's decision) we are disappointed. We understand the pressure the Judge and the administrative departments of the US faced, and also know their difficulties. But here, we want to say that the lawsuit against Jiang, the important purpose of it is to urge China to stop the suppression on Falun Gong, stop the persecution of human rights and freedom of beliefs. " He also expressed that "We will not give up investigating Jiang's legal responsibility for his bloody persecution via legal means. The effort will not be stopped due to one case at one time in one place. If we don't win today, we will try tomorrow. If we won't win tomorrow, we will try the day after tomorrow, until justice ultimately prevails."

Dr. Nie Sen also mentioned similar cases filed in the US have seen judgments in favor of Falun Gong. For example, former Deputy Chief of Public Security Bureau in Hubei Province Zhao Zhifei, former Minister of Propaganda, one of the persons in charge of "610 Office" Ding Guangen, and Beijing City Secretary Liu Qi and Vice Governor of Liaoning Province Xia Deren. Judges pronounced a guilty verdict to all of them for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.

As former President Jiang has rendered voiceless in China the millions upon millions of victims of his campaign of genocide and torture against Falun Gong, so too has the former President of China pressured the United States Department of State, threatening an international crisis between the United States and China should this case be permitted to go forward.

The case against former President Jiang and Office 6/10 is not over. In fact it is just beginning. Like the plaintiffs in Filartiga v. Pena-Irala (2nd Cir. 1980), like the plaintiffs in Pinochet, the plaintiffs in Falun Gong v. Jiang Zemin shall prevail on appeal. History will soon show that the principles which comprise the plaintiffs' claims shall prevail. Sitting and former heads of state cannot commit crimes of terrible magnitude against their own citizens and those of other countries with impunity.

It is reported that at present, Falun Gong practitioners in many countries have filed lawsuits against Jiang or are suing Jiang or other high-ranking Chinese officials who participated in the persecution. These countries include Belgium, France, the UK, Australia and Canada.