NEW YORK – Over 34,000 legal complaints have been filed with Chinese courts charging former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, with unlawful imprisonment, torture, corruption, abuse of power, and more than a dozen additional crimes.
“This wave of filings is significant for two reasons,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson, Mr. Erping Zhang. “For one, it shows a ground-swell of support across China, and around the world, to bring Jiang to justice for his role in the violent suppression of Falun Gong.”
Zhang continues, “And secondly, these legal complaints are being accepted by the Chinese courts, and the individuals filing them are not suffering retaliation from the Chinese regime. Even just a year ago, this was unheard of. This is a big change with wide-reaching ramifications.”
According to a July 4 report on the Minghui website (report
), over 34,000 copies of legal complaints were received between the end of May and July 2. Over 10,000 of the legal complaints have signatures verifying their delivery to China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate or the Supreme People’s Court. In the week ending July 2, Minghui received a total of 16,373 complaint copies, the highest of any weekly total since the filings began in late May. In addition, some 393 Falun Gong practitioners from 19 countries including the U.S., U.K., Australia among others have also filed legal complaints against Jiang Zemin.
As the President of China in 1999, Jiang Zemin is widely regarded as the driving force behind a brutal and costly campaign to “stamp out” Falun Gong across China, which was launched in July 1999. Over the past sixteen years, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been abducted or wrongfully imprisoned by Chinese authorities. There are over 100,000 documented cases of torture, and over 3,800 verified individual cases of death from abuse by authorities. Several independent human rights researchers estimate the true death toll to be tens of thousands.
“It remains to be seen if such a flood of complaints will result in an indictment in the immediate future,” says Zhang, “but this form of public pressure for justice and civilians’ legal rights has been widely commended by people who live in and out of China, and that represents an unprecedented wave of ordinary citizens utilizing the law to seek justice against senior Chinese officials. Quite simply, this has never happened before.”
Lawyers both inside and outside of China have recognized the filing of these legal complaints as a new and welcomed response to the atrocities instigated by senior Chinese leaders.
“I believe suing Jiang Zemin is very appropriate from both the standpoint of the law and justice,” said Zhang Zanning, a law professor at Southeast University in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. He said he and colleagues find it “very encouraging.”
Canadian human rights attorney David Matas concurs. “There are signs for hope. First of all, complaints are being allowed. People aren’t being arrested for complaining. The lead persecutors of Falun Gong are being prosecuted, like Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai. It looks like it’s a movement against Jiang Zemin, the lead persecutor.”
The Falun Dafa Information Center is calling upon Western media to research this unprecedented wave of filings, and give it the coverage it deserves.