Taipei, 17 November: Seven Taiwan practitioners of Falun Gong brought a lawsuit in the Taiwan High Court Monday [17 November] against former mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin and other former and incumbent mainland officials for genocide.
Chu Wan-chi, a spokesman for what has been dubbed the “worldwide trial of Jiang Zemin” campaign, which organized the lawsuit, said the lawsuit is a part of a global effort to stop Beijing from persecuting other practitioners of Falun Gong.
Chang Ching-hsi, president of the Taiwan Association of Falun Gong Practitioners, claimed that the Beijing regime’s persecution of Falun Gong followers on the mainland constitutes the crime of genocide as provided for in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
The Republic of China, as a signatory to the convention, enacted its own Statute against Genocide in 1953 on the basis of the 1948 United Nations convention, said Chu.
Since genocide is a universal crime to be cracked down everywhere, the Taiwan authorities have jurisdiction over the crime committed by Jiang and his followers, Chu further claimed.
Chu urged the Taiwan High Court to try to subpoena Jiang and the other defendants through the Straits Exchange Foundation, the quasi- official foundation set up to deal with Beijing in the absence of formal ties between the two sides.
Even though it will be virtually impossible to bring Jiang and the others to justice in Taiwan, Chu said, the lawsuit will be worthwhile if it brings public attention to the plight of Falun Gong practitioners on the mainland and the fact that there are still four mainland Chinese wives of Taiwanese men detained by the Beijing authorities because of their association with the spiritual movement, which Beijing considers to be a dangerous cult.
Chang said similar lawsuits have already been brought in courts in the United States, Belgium and Spain against Jiang and other Beijing leaders who ordered a brutal crackdown on the movement in 1999, and more lawsuits will be brought in Australia, Italy, Canada, Germany and Argentina.
A public security chief in central China’s Hubei Province has been indicted in a US court and will be tried in absentia for persecuting a Falun Gong follower to death in Hubei, Chang said.
Besides Jiang, former Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing and Luo Gan, a member of the Central Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, were also indicted in the lawsuit.