Letter to U.S. Office of Legal Policy
Office of Legal Policy
US Department of Justice
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-001
Dear Mr. Dinh:
As you are no doubt aware, several Falun Gong practitioners have filed a class-action suit against Jiang Zemin (former head of China) charging him with genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity. This suit is being processed in the Northern District Court of Illinois. It is my understanding that your offices may have received appeals from the Chinese government to prevent this suit from going forward. As Executive Director of Friends of Falun Gong (a nonprofit human rights organization supporting the freedom of belief of people practicing Falun Gong), I would like to present a compelling reason for not interceding on behalf of Jiang Zemin.
Recently, the police seized the sister of a Washington, D.C. resident from her home for attempting to join the lawsuit against the former Chinese leader. Starting in 2000, Ms. Meiyu Zhao spent a year and a half in the San Sui Women’s Forced Labor Camp in Guangdong Province for practicing Falun Gong. According to Ms. Langxiang Zhao, her sister was tortured and abused, made to perform forced labor for 12 hours a day, and often locked in a narrow solitary confinement cell where the “sanitary conditions were horrific.” Her sister had drafted a statement describing the details of her confinement. The affidavit, her copy of the complaint against Jiang, and other relevant information were confiscated, and Chinese officials took her away. She has not been heard from since.
We have been informed by sources in China that shortly after the class-action lawsuit was filed and served on Jiang Zemin last October, he ordered the Chinese Security Bureau to establish a nationwide Special Task Force Working on the Jiang Zemin Lawsuit Filed by the Falun Gong Practitioners Living Abroad. The Task Force investigates and eliminates all activities that aid and assist the U.S. lawsuit against the former leader of China. The Task Force will arrest any probable plaintiff that seeks justice via the lawsuit and considers them to be felony criminals.
In mid-April, the Task Force illegally arrested over 70 candidate plaintiffs in Heilongjiang Province that had sent affidavits to the U.S. via the Internet with details about how they have been persecuted since July 22, 1999. According to a member of a provincial “610 office,” the Task Force has also been gathering information about other possible plaintiffs from Falun Gong websites. Over 50 areas in China have been investigated so far.
For almost four years, Jiang Zemin has contravened China’s own constitution as well as international human rights covenants, to which China was a signatory, by orchestrating a systematic persecution of practitioners of Falun Gong. The oppression of Falun Gong has continued unabated for almost four years. It is time for Jiang Zemin to be held accountable for his crimes in a court of law. Recognizing that there are implications and ramifications for the U.S. government for putting a former head of state on trial, I trust that you will give every consideration to the justness of the lawsuit. Where else but in these United States have personal freedoms been consistently defined and upheld? Historically we have demonstrated our moral obligation to protect the rights of people to practice their beliefs. Please do not prevent the lawsuit against Jiang Zemin and the “610 Office” from occurring.